American Express Survey: Global B2B Spending is on the Rise
Business-to-business (B2B) spending continues to increase, which indicates that businesses are becoming more confident about the future economy, according to American Express Global Spend Indicator data released yesterday.
Of the surveyed companies, 70% worldwide share an optimistic outlook for the next 12 months, the report finds.
Companies are starting to invest more money in technologies such as automation and e-commerce, with 37% of businesses across six countries increasing their technology spending. "These showed that businesses are eager to facilitate and enhance remote working and online commerce as new ways of operating since the pandemic," American Express said.
The pandemic also forced companies to adapt to unexpected supply chain changes. Over the past year, 22% of businesses simplified their network of suppliers to increase their flexibility and 21% avoided long-term commitments to purchase from specific suppliers. Of the surveyed companies, 22% had worked with suppliers with more flexible payment terms.
"Global businesses are no longer in survival mode and are more focused on growth," American Express explained. "The surveyed businesses pointed to increasing profitability, securing new business and staying competitive as their top three business imperatives this year, and these have been reflected in how they plan to spend."
However, it is important to note global businesses continue to deal with the impacts of significant cash flow pressures caused by COVID-19. The survey notes that 86% of surveyed businesses found their cash flow over the past year to be at least somewhat problematic.
--Annacaroline Caruso, editorial associate