Daily News: October 30, 2014

CIT: Mid-Market Execs Confident About Future

Middle market executives have a positive outlook for their businesses with nearly two-thirds (63%) indicating that their companies are better off today than last year, while 62% expect the size of their workforce to increase in the coming year. These are some of the key findings found in the third annual Voice of the Middle Market study (www.cit.com/middlemarketoutlook) released by CIT Group. However, this optimism is tempered by concerns related to continued economic uncertainty, costs associated with complying with the Affordable Care Act, regulations and tax increases.

“Middle market companies represent the backbone of the American economy, leading innovation and growth that has been vital to the recovery of the U.S. economy,” said Tom Hobbis, co-head of CIT Sponsor Finance. “Our study has found that while middle market executives are upbeat about their own prospects and are looking to grow as a result, they believe it’s important that elected officials bring forth policies that support the middle market.”

Jeff Kilrea, co-head of CIT Sponsor Finance, added, “As a leading provider of financing to the middle market, it’s important for CIT to understand the views of middle market executives on the key issues that affect their companies. This annual study offers us the opportunity to hear directly from this important sector of the U.S. economy.”

Key Findings:

  • Economic Uncertainty; Affordable Care Act Costs; Taxes and Regulations Top Concerns: While expressing much optimism for their own companies, there are still several issues that cause trepidation among middle market executives. Those areas of top concern include: continued economic uncertainty (76%); costs associated with complying with the ACA (75%); regulations (71%) and tax increases (70%).
  • Tax Reform Should Top Congress’ Agenda: Tax reform is a top priority for respondents with 84% saying they want Congress to take action on this issue.
    Additionally, about three-fourths want changes to healthcare reform, investments in infrastructure, and increasing domestic energy production. Less than half (40%) think raising the federal minimum wage should be taken up by the 114th Congress.
  • Workforce Expansion Expected: Over half the middle market companies (55%) have experienced workforce growth over the past 12 months. Sixty-two percent say they expect the size of their workforce to increase in the coming year. More than half (58%) report that business demand and opportunities will lead to an increase in workforce.
  • Growth on the Horizon: Fifty-eight percent of respondents expect to enter other regions within the U.S. over the next 12 months, while 62% expect to increase their range of products and services in the next 12 months.

For more information about the survey, click here.