Print this page
Sunday, 06 April 2014 20:37

PNC survey: Michigan’s small business owners more optimistic, plan to hire

Written by 
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

A biannual survey of small business owners by PNC Bank found increased optimism and stronger hiring plans for the next six months.

Among small business owners responding to the survey, half said they expected higher sales, versus 42 percent six months earlier and 48 percent a year ago. Just 8 percent expected sales to trend downward, compared 15 percent in the fall and 12 percent last spring.

Expectations for hiring increased sharply over the two previous surveys, with 17 percent of respondents indicating that they intend to add staff in the next six months. That compares to just 4 percent last fall and 13 percent a year ago.

“Conditions across the state are improving,” PNC Bank economist Kurt Rankin said.

While more small businesses are hiring, that won’t necessarily translate to a significantly lower unemployment rate for the state. More people are re-entering the workforce, which should minimize reductions in unemployment rates from job growth, Rankin said.

The PNC survey results also suggest that more small businesses are making investments. Fifty-six percent of respondents plan to make a capital investment in the next six months, compared to 48 percent last fall.

“Business equipment is the top priority with technology equipment a close second,” states a report on the PNC survey results. “Computer hardware and software are the top tech spending priorities and e-commerce trails in second.”

Small business respondents in Michigan also appear more optimistic about their local economy than the national economy. Eleven percent said they were optimistic about the local economy and 54 percent were moderately optimistic. Thirty-five percent were pessimistic.

When asked about the U.S. economy in the months ahead, just 4 percent were optimistic, half were moderately optimistic and 46 percent were pessimistic.

Read 5097 times Last modified on Sunday, 06 April 2014 09:49