PNC Economic Outlook Survey --
Business Owners' Outlook Improves on Hiring, but Stalled on Sales and Profits Amid Pessimistic View of U.S. Economy, PNC Survey Reveals
Small business owners' expectations for sales and profits remain relatively flat, while plans for capital spending increase amid overall pessimistic view that economic recovery is still more than a year away, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook. The Autumn 2010 findings of the survey, which began in 2003, provide insights on the current mood and sentiment of U.S. small business owners.
Slightly Pessimistic Outlook for Business Owners Still Reflects Modest U.S. Recovery
- Sales, Profits, and Jobs: Business owners are slightly more pessimistic about their outlook for sales and profits over the next six months. Owners report a profit squeeze from higher costs and little pricing power. The outlook for hiring of full-time employees (22%) is unchanged from spring but significantly better than the low point in Spring 2009 (12%).
- Capital Spending rises: Almost two-thirds (63%) plan to increase capital spending compared to just under half in the Spring and Autumn 2009. Technology equipment spending leads the list of priorities.