AmEx Business Survey Finds 30 Percent Of CFOs To Increase T&E Spending


A new survey shows that finance executives are optimistic about the economy, and as a result expect to spend more on travel & entertainment (T&E).

“Countries and businesses globally expect continued growth through 2018, with newfound confidence in Europe adding to carryover optimism from 2017 in Asia-Pacific and North America,” according to the 2018 Global Business and Spending Outlook Survey, commissioned by American Express and conducted by Institutional Investor Thought Leadership Studio.

The report shows that more than 90 percent of study participants from North America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East expect modest or substantial economic expansion this year. And after several years of slow growth, Europe is poised for recovery. However, in Latin America, only half of study participants from the region expect economic expansion.

As a result, they are prepared to increase spending on travel and entertainment (T&E), with 30 percent of finance executives worldwide expecting to boost their T&E budgets. In North America, 34 percent of companies surveyed from the U.S. and 43 percent from Canada expect to increase
spending on travel and entertainment — up from 16% and 13% respectively in 2017.

“Last year’s survey signaled a readiness to shift into growth mode, and this year’s findings demonstrate the fruition of that movement, with a majority of companies reporting higher or much higher revenues compared to a year ago,” states the report. “Respondents to this year’s survey expect sustained economic growth over the next 12 months, but at a slower rate and with fewer predicting substantial economic expansion.”

In terms of general spending, 72 percent of companies worldwide expect spending and investment
to increase by 6 percent or more, while 21 percent worldwide anticipate aggressive spending increases of 10 percent or more. The data shows that higher spenders are more likely to be in Asia-Pacific (38 percent ) — especially in Japan (47 percent) — and in Europe (30 percent), particularly in Italy, where 40 percent of respondents expect to boost spending by 10 percent or more.