WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey

By Joe Galvin | March 17, 2017 | Economy

CEOs anticipate profits and revenue

Confidence in the national economy is in a holding pattern according to the most recent WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey.  Among surveyed CEOs, 62% expect higher profits for their businesses in the year ahead, which is well above the 55% reported one year ago in February 2016, and just slightly below the 63% reported last month. Of firms surveyed, 77% look forward to increased revenue in the coming year.

Hiring ratchets upward

Hiring is on the rise, too, as 62% of those surveyed revealed plans to expand staffing, perhaps in response to the anticipated increases in sales and revenue.

Confidence holds

The WSJ/Vistage Small Business CEO Confidence Index was 111.9 in the February 2017 survey, just below the 113.5 in January, and the 112.0 in December, but well above last February’s 94.3. The February 2017 survey recorded the largest year-to-year gain in the Confidence Index since November 2013.

As for the economic climate, nearly half (47%) of the small businesses surveyed reported that the economy had improved over the past year. Looking ahead, more than half (54%)  anticipate that the national economy will improve in the year to come. This number is just slightly lower than last month's figure of 60%.

Optimistic outlook

According to analyst Dr. Richard Curtin of The University of Michigan, overall, the current level of confidence among small firms is about as good as it has been since the survey began in 2012. Curtin posits that the small February decline was mainly due to less favorable outlook for the economy, and consequently, a slight decline in the growth rate of their firm’s revenues and profits.

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About the author:

Joe Galvin is the Chief Research Officer for Vistage Research, the research arm of Vistage Worldwide. Vistage Research provides Vistage members with the most credible, data driven and actionable thought-leadership on the strategic issues facing CEO’s and Key Executives. Through collaboration with the Vistage experts community and curation of the highest quality content, Vistage members benefit from impactful business research specific to small and midsized business. Vistage Research is the CEO’s most trusted resource for research, data and expert perspectives on the issues and topics of high performance small and mid-sized businesses.

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