Middle market companies remain reticent about business-level decisions on capital expenditures, according to a recent RSM US Middle Market Business Index survey. While second-quarter survey results indicated that business leaders plan to spend more on attracting and retaining talent, they should also consider channeling resources toward technology to improve efficiency and productivity within their existing workforce.
Nine of 10 survey participants believed their organization’s capital investments and expenditures to be sufficient to meet demand. These executives expressed a range of priorities regarding the focus of their investments, including shoring up balance sheets, boosting investor returns, and increasing hiring and wages. Nevertheless, an arguably more prudent investment in technology may be the best approach to ensure long-term viability and combat an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Attitudes about capex were largely unchanged in the third quarter of 2019, as middle market executives polled in the MMBI survey retained significant reservations about substantial investments in software, equipment and intellectual property. Less than half of executives polled (44%) in the latest MMBI survey indicated increasing aggregate capital expenditures or investments in that quarter.