Coupa Business Spend Index Reveals that US Businesses Remain Cautious about the Economy

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Report Finds That Business Spend Sentiment Remains Flat; Companies Are Taking a ‘Wait and See’ Approach over the Next Three-To-Six Months

Coupa Software, a leader in Business Spend Management (BSM), announced the findings of the Q4 Coupa Business Spend Index (BSI). The report revealed that although sentiment has ticked up slightly overall, U.S. businesses remain cautious about the economy over the next three-to-six months, likely attributed to uncertainty about the future direction of U.S. trade policy and political unrest.

“With widespread uncertainty about where the economy is headed, businesses are looking for leading indicators to help them make smart business spend decisions,” said Rob Bernshteyn, chairman and chief executive officer at Coupa. “We’re analyzing billions of dollars of aggregated and anonymized spend transactions across hundreds of U.S. companies to provide real-time insights into business spend sentiment. Using this data, companies of all sizes and all industries are empowered to spend smarter together in all economic conditions.”

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What to Expect in the Coming Months

  • Businesses Overall: Uncertainty driven by trade tensions and overall economic policy volatility is impacting the macroeconomy. The Coupa BSI indicates that the U.S. economy may continue to operate below trend over the next three-to-six months.
  • Financial Services: Sentiment in financial services remains weak. Concerns driven by trade policy and Brexit, global economic weakness, and falling interest rates are negatively impacting the sector.
  • Health and Life Sciences: The long-term trend for health and life sciences has been negative. Given the current political climate, it is likely that the sector will continue this trend for the foreseeable future.
  • High Tech: Growth for high tech may improve modestly through Q4 and into Q1 2020. However, the sector has been impacted by reduced business investment in intellectual property, bringing risk to the sector’s outlook.
  • Manufacturing: While still relatively low, the sentiment for manufacturing has improved. However, manufacturing remains weak globally, which could impact U.S. companies in the near term.
  • Retail: Retail is performing well and should continue to do so for the next three-to-six months. Consumer spending still remains the main driver of growth in this sector and is likely responsible for retailers’ optimism.

The Coupa BSI analyzes billions of dollars of aggregated and anonymized business spend transactions to serve as a leading indicator of economic growth.

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