Mid-size companies, or those with annual revenues of between $10 million and $1 billion, forecasted a gain of 5.2 percent in revenue in 2013 in a fourth-quarter survey by the National Center for the Middle Market at Ohio State University, a strong increase from the previous quarter’s anticipated gain of 3.7 percent over the next 12 months. Survey findings suggest moderate optimism about the national economy.
Overall, three out of five middle market companies surveyed said business performance has improved from last year’s fourth quarter. “We are moderately optimistic about the U.S. economy… it appears we are slowly recovering from the recession,” wrote the CFO of a $10 million pharmaceutical company.
Stronger performance than initially expected in 2012 may account for this optimism. Middle market companies posted average gross revenue increases of 7 percent for the past 12 months compared with predicted revenue growth of 5.2 percent.
Confidence about the global economy is also on the upswing. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported that they are confident or somewhat confident about the outlook for the global economy, as compared to 29 percent who shared that sentiment in the third quarter. Confidence in the U.S. economic outlook also rose, with 51 percent of respondents confident or somewhat confident, versus 48 percent the previous quarter.
Despite these encouraging figures, respondents remain concerned about healthcare costs and regulations. Leaders also cited uncertainty about government actions and commodities costs, all of which are factors out of their control.