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Middle-Market Firms Expect Increased CAPEX in Q1, M&T Survey Finds

March 10, 2017, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Economic Commentary

A new survey from M&T Bank suggests that many middle market firms are looking forward to potential changes in economic policy under President Trump’s new administration and plan to increase capital spending this quarter as a result.

According to the Q1 2017 Economic Outlook Survey from M&T's Commercial Banking Division, nearly half of respondents plan to boost capital spending this quarter, compared to 35% during the same period last year. That's the highest level of first quarter spending confidence since M&T began the survey in 2009.

Only 7% expect capex to decline over the next six months, the survey found.

The positive response to the new administration appears to be closely related to expected changes in regulation and taxes. Healthcare costs, regulatory compliance, and taxes are viewed as the three biggest challenges for middle market firms, and all are expected to be high priority items for the new president.
More than two-thirds of middle market firms expect the economy to improve in the next six months, the highest reading since the recession.

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