Corporate Cash Balances Still Growing, but Slowly

AFP survey shows decelerating year-over-year growth in cash and short-term investments.

The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) has released the results of its Corporate Cash Indicators survey for the first quarter of 2013. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they increased their balances of cash and short-term investments over the quarter, whereas 28 percent said they reduced their cash and short-term investment balances. This +10 reading (38% minus 28%) is down a bit from the +13 reading of Q1/2012.

Over the course of the year ending with Q1/2013, 35 percent of companies increased their cash and short-term investments, while 27 percent reduced them. Although cash reserves are still growing, the overall +8 year-over-year reading is the first single-digit score since the AFP started producing its Corporate Cash Indicators index in January 2011. Moreover, 28 percent of respondents expect to reduce cash balances during Q2/2013, while 23 percent expect to expand them.

The AFP takes these numbers as a sign of optimism in corporate treasuries: “Business confidence appears to be gaining momentum as the pace of corporate cash accumulation decelerated during the first quarter of 2013,” the organization states.

Comments