CFO survey shows promise for capital expenditures

Chief financial officers seem poised to continue capital expenditures as there are few economic headwinds ahead, according to a new survey by TD Bank. It queried 300 CFOs across all professions on the East Coast, including those in the healthcare sector.

The survey did observe that "decisionmakers in the healthcare industry are less optimistic about their company's performance in 2016," although it did not provide specifics. Meanwhile, CFOs across all sectors said healthcare reform is their biggest concern that they hope candidates will address in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Prior surveys had suggested that healthcare CFOs had predicted positive times ahead as early as 2012, although many said 2014 would be the turning point as the primary components of the Affordable Care Act were deployed nationwide, leading to more patients who had insurance coverage.

Healthcare CFOs themselves have become increasingly more involved in the operations of hospitals and healthcare systems, primarily because substantial savings can not only be obtained, but so can more accurate projections of revenue growth.

Based on the TD Bank data, 61 percent of CFOs say they will increase capital expenditures over the next year, up significantly from the 39 percent positive response in 2010, the first year TD Bank conducted the survey.

"We've seen a significant shift in sentiment over the five years we've been surveying the market as a number of looming economic headaches have largely subsided," said Greg Braca, a TD Bank executive vice president, in a statement. "Rising interest rates may create headline noise which impacts the stock market, but executives are prepared for an eventual rate increase and are moving forward with investments in their infrastructure, facilities and people. It's clear that businesses have adjusted to the 'new normal' and are focused on growing within that environment."

To learn more:
- read the CFO survey (.pdf)
- check out the statement