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Business Observer Friday, Jul. 13, 2018 2 months ago

Survey: Business climate hits new high

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Middle market companies nationally believe the economy is in good shape.

Signs of a robust economy among middle market firms abounded in the second quarter.

For starters, the National Center for the Middle Market’s short-term index hit 100 for the first time in at least five quarters — and is up from 80 in the 2017 fourth quarter. The index, part of NCMM’s 2Q Middle Market Indicator report, combines net positive change in business climate with demand and changes in sales over a quarter, according to a statement. The Columbus, Ohio-based National Center for the Middle Market is supported by SunTrust Banks and Cisco, among other entities.     

The market indicator is an online survey, taken June 4 – June 15, of C-level executives who are financial decision makers in private and public organizations with $10 million to $1 billion in gross revenue.

More economic news from the survey includes:

• The number of middle market companies that intend to invest back into the business, 71%, is an all-time survey high mark. That’s also up from 67% in the 2017 second quarter, the survey shows. Areas of investment include IT and plant and equipment;

• Job growth also keeps climbing, following a trend from the end of last year. Nearly six of 10 middle market companies, for example, 57%, report year-over-year employment growth over the pat 12 months.

• One minor blip in the survey is total sales revenue growth has slowed a bit, from 8.4% in the first quarter of 2018 to 7.4% in the most recent quarter.  

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