Economic Outlook Survey

Fall 2014

More Small Business Owners Plan Pay Raises and Price Hikes

Key Findings

PNC’s chief economist Stuart Hoffman views the new results of PNC’s biannual survey as important signals to Fed policy makers that the faster economic expansion is finally putting upward pressure on wage and price inflation.

Survey Highlights: Optimism, Hiring, Pay Raises

Hiring Plans Steady: 20% plan to add full-time employees vs. 22% in the spring and 16% one year ago. Among those not hiring, half (52%) need sales to increase 3% or more to add more workers.

Bigger Pay Raises: 38% plan to increase employees’ pay, up from 32% in spring and 22% one year ago – and the most since 2008. Nearly three in five (59%) plan wage hikes of at least 3%, which exceeds national trends around 2%.

Bigger Price Hikes: 38% also plan to raise selling prices and only 4% intend to cut their prices. Of those planning hikes, 41% plan to boost prices by 3-4%, which is above the Fed’s 2% inflation goal.