News Release Details
Financial Press Release
Spring: Hope's Eternal For Small And Mid-Size Business Owners
Across-the-board record optimism is reflected by the 85 percent of all respondents who select a positive emotion to describe how they feel about the business climate during the next six months: hope (39 percent), enthusiasm (37 percent) and joy (9 percent). This is a moderate increase from the fall of 2016 (pre-election) when 74 percent of respondents reported positive emotions. The number feeling fear, despair or anger remains in the single digits.
"Small businesses are a key source of economic activity and employment, and owners' perceptions can be a good indicator of what's to come," said
In addition, six out of 10 business leaders (61 percent) expect demand for their company's products or services to increase in the next six months, up from 51 percent in fall 2017. While a majority (51 percent) report a good balance between the volume of business and their capacity to handle that volume, 14 percent report having more work than they can handle without adding some capacity.
Key survey findings include:
Wage Watchers—Back in the
Help (Really) Wanted: Four out of 10 (40 percent) say it is harder to hire qualified employees today compared to six months ago, with the biggest challenge being lack of experience or skill. One-fifth (22 percent) of respondents attribute the lack of hiring to doing more work in other ways like automation, artificial intelligence or outsourcing, representing a significant increase compared to 14 percent in fall 2017.
"With support from tax cuts and an increase in federal spending, U.S. economic growth will accelerate in 2018 and the labor market will continue to tighten," said Faucher. "To prevent the economy from overheating, the Federal Open Market Committee will continue to gradually raise the federal funds rate throughout 2018."
Money (That's What I Want): Nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) small and mid-size business leaders anticipate increased sales during the next six months, a significant increase from the fall. Two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents expect increased profits, exceeding the prior high (59 percent) set in spring 2005. Most significant is the jump in the number of business leaders who expect to charge their own customers higher prices (41 percent, up from 29 percent in fall 2017), citing increasing business and favorable market conditions as the primary reasons.
A digital package containing national and regional survey results is available at http://pnc.mediaroom.com/digital-packages.
The PNC Economic Outlook survey was conducted by telephone from
This report was prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations. Any reliance upon this information is solely and exclusively at your own risk.
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