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Thursday, 04 April 2013 07:01

PNC survey: More sales, not a lot of hiring expected

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Results from the latest survey by PNC Bank indicate economic concerns persists among owners of small and mid-sized businesses, and those worries are causing them to hold off hiring even as they expect improved sales and profits through the summer.

Just one in eight business owners in Michigan plans to hire new employees over the next six months and only about one in five are feeling optimistic about their future prospects, according to the biannual survey from PNC Bank.

“A continued moderate but persistent economic and jobs growth expansion in 2013 is reflected in the cautious outlook by small and mid-sized business owners in Michigan,” states a report on the survey results from PNC Bank.

Despite the hiring reluctance, 52 percent of respondents expect higher sales and nearly four in 10 believe profits will improve. Both responses represent markedly higher expectations from six months earlier and a year ago.

In the results from the PNC survey of Michigan companies:

• 21 percent of respondents were optimistic about their prospects in the next six months, compared to 17 percent in the fall and 21 percent a year ago.

• 25 percent are pessimistic, versus 20 percent in last fall and 22 percent in the spring of 2012.

• 37 percent said they are holding back on hiring until local economic conditions improve, and 19 percent said they are waiting for more economic stability globally.

• 35 percent said they would do more with fewer employees.

• Only 15 percent of respondents said they would “definitely” or “probably” seek a new line of credit this spring or summer, compared to 12 percent in the fall and 25 percent last spring.

• 52 percent plan to make capital investments in the next six months, versus 54 percent and 57 percent in the last two surveys, respectively. Technology equipment was the top priority for respondents.

• Respondents are more optimistic about their local economy than the U.S. economy, 13 percent versus 6 percent, and fewer are pessimistic, 43 percent locally compared to 53 percent nationally.

“These findings support PNC economists’ baseline forecast that the moderate U.S. economic and jobs expansion will persist in 2013, despite higher payroll and top income tax rates, an $85 billion cut in federal spending and a recession in Europe,” the PNC report states.

Read 1544 times Last modified on Thursday, 04 April 2013 08:33

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