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Happy days are here again for Florida business owners, says survey

PNC Bank study finds record levels of optimism about the economy.

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  • | 4:02 p.m. April 9, 2018
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Small and medium-sized business owners in the Sunshine State are optimistic about the economy, to say the least.

PNC Bank’s latest Spring Florida Economic Outlook reveals factors such as strong national economic growth; a healing housing market; low costs of doing business; and beneficial demographic and migration trends have led to historically high levels of optimism.

That cheerful outlook could have a big impact on the labor market in Florida, according to PNC. Its report says nearly half (49%) of all Florida business owners surveyed intend to increase employee compensation levels this year. That would be a huge boon to the state economy, because while job growth in Florida remains above the national average, wages have been slow to rise.

PNC also reports that nearly one-third (32%) of respondents expect to add full-time staff, compared to 25% percent in the bank’s fall 2017 survey, while 25% plan to hire part-time staff, a significant bump compared to 15% in fall 2017. 

Additionally, 66% of business owners surveyed expect their sales to rise in 2018, and 60% expect profits to increase —the highest level of optimism for those categories in a decade. 

PNC’s report sounds a few notes of caution, however. Chief among them is, naturally, inflation.

To wit: nearly four in 10 (39%) Florida small and medium-sized business owners expect their suppliers to charge higher prices (compared to 34% in fall 2017), while a third expect to charge customers higher prices (32%, up from 22% in spring 2017), citing increasing business and favorable market conditions. Exactly three-fourths of those surveyed anticipate higher inflation in the coming year — a number that is unchanged from fall 2017.



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