U.S. small and mid-sized business owners plan to delay hiring new employees or seek new loans amid cautious optimism about the economy, according to the latest findings of the PNC Economic Outlook survey.
Waiting to Hire, Seek Loans
The survey, which gauges the mood and sentiment of small and medium sized business owners, found that only 46 percent expect their sales to increase in the next six months, significantly lower than last spring (58 percent). Profits are also expected to be lower, as only 38 percent expect an increase compared to 43 percent in the spring. Only 23 percent expect to add new employees, lower than in spring (28 percent) but still higher than a year ago (20%).
Housing Rebound to Continue
Building on the dramatic turnaround first seen in PNC's fall survey, 48 percent expect home prices in their local markets will rise over the coming year compared to 26 percent one year ago. This expected house price rebound is reinforced by sizable house price gains in 2012.
Consumer Spending Supports Price Hikes
One-third plan to raise their selling prices and only five percent intend to cut their prices, signaling potential pricing pressures.
PNC's chief economist Stuart Hoffman discusses the spring findings of PNC's biannual survey of U.S. small and mid-sized business owners.
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