Finance chiefs give the green light for firms to splash cash

COMPANIES are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel, ramping up plans to hire new staff and spend as an appetite for risk returns to the UK.

Renewed optimism about economic stability means finance chiefs (CFOs) across the FTSE have found a new hunger for expansion in hiring and capital expenditure, according to the latest Deloitte CFO survey, published this morning.

A net balance of 33 per cent of firms now expect to increase investment, while a net 25 per cent want to take on more staff in the year ahead, suggesting that years of risk aversion are coming to an end.

Firms are also finding it easier to raise funds: 56 per cent more CFOs says credit is easily available rather than hard to access, and a net 53 per cent see it as cheap, the highest for six years.

Nearly half of CFOs, 45 per cent, think now it is a good time to take greater risk onto their balance sheets, more than double the amount that felt the same way six months ago.

“CFOs are moving into an era where it’s more important to drive growth,” said Ian Stewart, Deloitte’s UK chief economist.