Business owners optimistic: A sign reading "Yes, we're open" hangings inside a glass window

Small and Mid-Size Business Owners Remain Optimistic, According to PNC Study

The fall 2019 results of our semiannual study for client PNC, in which we ask small and mid-size business owners and executives about their business and economic outlook, were recently published. The study revealed that, despite pricing pressures and tariff concerns, measures of business owner optimism are approaching the record-setting highs measured in spring 2018.

Detailed findings include the following:

  • Optimism among business leaders about their own company is particularly strong at 55%, near record high in 16-year survey (58% in spring 2018).
  • Most small and mid-size business owners don’t anticipate a recession in 2019 (67%). Businesses split on their outlook for 2020: 46% believe a recession is unlikely, while 47% believe it is likely. Optimism wanes looking ahead, with only 34% believing a recession is unlikely in 2021.
  • Tariffs are a concern, with 38% anticipating paying higher prices to suppliers over the next six months.
  • One-third of respondents plan to hire full-time employees within the next six months, tying the survey high (spring 2005).

Learn more by reading PNC’s press release. We’ve detailed the findings of past economic outlook studies on our website, including those from fall 2018.