Economic Outlook Survey

Fall 2015

More Small Businesses Plan to Hire Workers and Boost Wages

PNC’s Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman says the new findings strongly support PNC’s forecast for real GDP growth of 2.5% in 2015 (comparing fourth quarters this year vs. 2014).


Key Findings

Hiring Reaches Three-Year High: One in four (26%) business owners expect to hire over the next six months, which is the most since 2012 and second highest since 2007.

More Pay Raises On the Way: 42% expect to increase their employees’ pay, which is above the 40% in the spring and the most since 2007. In terms of the amount, 61% plan to give raises of 3% or more.

Sales and Profits Expected to Increase: 87% of owners are optimistic about their company’s prospects, up from 83% six months ago. When it comes to sales, 52% expect an increase while 46% expect profits to grow.