The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Surveys: Executives Bullish on Economy in 2015

Positive year has many projecting continued growth, increased M&A activity.

Corporate executives ­– including leaders in technology distribution – are bullish on the nation’s financial outlook for 2015.

CRN reports that CEOs of major technology distributors project a strong year ahead based on impressive 2014 numbers, namely double-digit – and, in some cases, triple-digit – year-over-year growth across the IT channel.

ScanSource CEO Mike Baur told CRN that 2014 was a “good year” for his company, with earnings improving 135 percent to $81.8 million from the previous year.

“We think the business is healthy right now,” Baur said in the article. “I think there’s momentum through 2015. I think now is the time to be doing some new things because we have some growth.”

While many executives quoted in the CRN article, including Avnet CEO Rick Hamada, expressed similar optimism, there was also a hint of caution around the rapidly changing nature of the IT channel.

“There are going to be a number of categories that are going to be very high growth. There are going to be a number that aren’t going to do so well. How you have to navigate through that is you have to figure out where the growth is coming from and how to shift your resources to take advantage of that. But, there’s a lot of exciting things happening,” said Kevin Murai, CEO of Synnex.

A recent Deloitte poll also revealed a strong level of optimism for the economy in 2015. A wide majority – 87.8 percent – of respondents expect the U.S. economy to grow, and 47.3 percent of them expect M&A activity to increase.

The poll, which included responses from 2,420 professionals, also showed that 24 percent of executives expect corporate capital investments to have the biggest positive impact on the economy.

“I typically work with companies during times of change – during crises and growth,” said Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP CEO David Williams. “Whether they’re looking to emerge from a regulatory or litigation challenge or they’re poising themselves for transactions, the executives I know are optimistic and moving ahead with confidence right now. We’re seeing big growth in sales and earnings, while improvements are made in hiring, in most sectors. Things aren’t perfect, but I’m bullish on the state of the U.S. economy in 2015.”

According to the Deloitte report, Middle East turmoil (34.7 percent) is the biggest global challenge respondents say the U.S. economy will face in 2015. And when asked what the Federal Reserve will do in terms of tightening monetary policy in 2015, 18 percent of respondents said the Fed would tighten appropriately, 20.7 percent said the Fed would tighten too soon, and 36.7 percent said the Fed would tighten too late.

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