Economic Outlook Survey

Spring 2015

Small Business Owners Optimistic on Sales, Profits and U.S. Economy

PNC’s Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman says the new findings strongly support PNC’s forecast for real GDP growth of 3.25% to 3.50% this year – the highest since 2004.

Key Findings

Rising Optimism: The results show small business owners have an increasingly positive outlook for their company and the highest optimism about the U.S. economy since 2007.

Energy Boost: Lower energy prices are expected to have a positive impact on profitability and sales. Hiring plans, meanwhile, are still limited – as 22% plan to add full-time employees while 72% will keep staffing the same.

Less Pressure: Inflation pressure is easing as fewer owners expect their prices and costs to increase while more plan to increase employees’ salaries amid savings from lower energy prices.