Small Business
Small Business
PNC Economic Outlook Survey --
Spring 2010
Small Business Owners' Outlook Brightens For Sales and Hiring; Lingering Skepticism About U.S. Economy, PNC Survey Reveals
Survey Results:
National Overview  Acrobat PDF File
New Jersey  Acrobat PDF File
Previous Outlook Survey Results
Related Links:
Additional PNC Economic Links:

Key Findings:

A rising number of small business owners expect slight increases in sales, profits and hiring over the next six months, but most do not plan to seek a new loan as the majority remain skeptical about the U.S. economy overall, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook. The Spring 2010 findings in the survey, which began in 2003, provide insights on the continued recovery of the U.S. economy.

Outlook Brightening, But National Recovery Still In The Distance

  • Sales, Profits, Hiring: Almost half (47 percent) of business owners expect sales to increase in the next six months, while 37 percent expect to see profit increases. Nearly 30 percent of manufacturers intend to hire full-time employees, compared to 22 percent in the service industry and 17 percent among wholesale/retail businesses.
  • Continued Caution: 92 percent of business owners say the U.S. economy has yet to improve, and six out of 10 owners believe a national economic recovery is still more than a year away. Local views are slightly less gloomy, as 48 percent of owners express pessimism compared to 7 percent who are optimistic about the prospects for their local economy.

Survey Summary:

One year ago, pessimism among business owners rose to an all-time high in the history of the PNC Economic Outlook survey. The new Spring findings reveal that owners are slightly more optimistic, but still waiting for more customers and higher demand for their services.

These findings support PNC's forecast that the U.S. economy?s ongoing "half speed" recovery will be sustained throughout 2010 and beyond. The PNC survey, which began in 2003, gauges the mood and sentiment among small and mid-sized business owners, who represent the bedrock of the American economy. 

Top Challenges Facing Businesses Graph

Use the Quick Links provided above to view or print PNC Economic Survey results based on major geographic areas, plus related links to PNC economic news and trends on

This survey was commissioned by The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC).