Business Leaders Outlook 2017

Find out what more than 1,400 middle market executives think about the economy and how they’re planning for the year ahead.

2017 Business Leaders Outlook

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EXPECTATIONS ON THE RISE

Our seventh annual Business Leaders Outlook survey provides a snapshot of the current business environment and the decision-making of the executives who operate in it. Find out which key trends and challenges are influencing more than 1,400 middle market executives’ plans for the year ahead.

Economic Outlook

In a dramatic shift from last year, the 2017 survey, which closed the day Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States, recorded increased optimism across the board. Reporting high expectations for the new administration, over the next year, middle market executives expect improved performance in the global, national and local economies, as well as their own businesses.

Pessimistic Neutral Optimistic

GLOBAL ECONOMY

30% 59% 11% 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
30 % optimistic 20 ppts

NATIONAL ECONOMY

80% 17% 3% 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
80 % optimistic 41 ppts

LOCAL ECONOMY

68% 27% 5% 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
68 % optimistic 18 ppts

Optimism is at its highest level—and pessimism is at its lowest level—over the past 7 years

This arrow compares year over year figures

Presidential Election

Respondents indicated the expected impact of the new administration on their businesses

+
76%

expect a
positive impact

12%

expect a
negative impact

=
12%

expect a
neutral impact

OF THOSE WHO INDICATED A POSITIVE IMPACT, THE TOP REASONS ARE

  • Pro-business policies
  • Tax reform
  • Regulation reductions

OF THOSE WHO INDICATED A NEGATIVE IMPACT, THE TOP REASON IS

  • Trade concerns

REGULATORY IMPACT

Middle market executives believe government should focus on:

67%

Reducing regulations

5 ppts
56%

Lowering taxes

6 ppts
36%

Improving infrastructure

9 ppts
30%

30% of middle market companies would like the Affordable Care Act reduced or eliminated

44% of middle market companies report that their healthcare costs have increased by 10% or more over the past year

REGULATION AND POLICY CONCERNS

Of all the policy or regulatory issues, concern over labor regulation and international trade policy increased the most year over year.

2015 2016 2017
36%
39%
44%

Labor
17%
18%
30%

International trade policy

Healthcare has remained the TOP regulatory concern for the past three years, remaining high at 63% in 2017

Business Challenges

Middle market executives were asked to rank the most significant challenges facing their business in 2017

71%

Revenue/sales growth

Down 3 ppts

46%

Managing labor costs

Up 6 ppts

44%

Limited supply of talent

Up 4 ppts

33%

Regulatory requirements

Up 2 ppts

71%

Revenue/sales growth

Down 3 ppts

3 ppts
46%

Managing labor costs

Up 6 ppts

6 ppts
44%

Limited supply
of talent

4 ppts
33%

Regulatory requirements

Up 2 ppts

2 ppts

Talent and Compensation

38%

38% of respondents are extremely or very concerned about the limited supply of candidates with the required skill sets

WHAT SKILLS ARE MOST ABSENT?

Technical/trade skills
43%
Managerial skills
31%
Communication skills
27%
57 % 8 ppts

plan to increase full-time personnel in the coming year

71 % 10 ppts

plan to increase compensation in the coming year

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© 2017 JPMorgan Chase & Co. All rights reserved. Chase, J.P. Morgan and JPMorgan Chase are marketing names for certain businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its subsidiaries worldwide (collectively, “JPMC”) and if and as used herein may include as applicable employees or officers of any or all of such entities irrespective of the marketing name used. Products and services may be provided by commercial bank affiliates, securities affiliates or other JPMC affiliates or entities. In particular, securities brokerage services other than those which can be provided by commercial bank affiliates under applicable law will be provided by registered broker/dealer affiliates such as J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, J.P. Morgan Institutional Investments Inc. or by such other affiliates as may be appropriate to provide such services under applicable law. Such securities are not deposits or other obligations of any such commercial bank, are not guaranteed by any such commercial bank and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Not all products and services are available in all geographic areas. Eligibility for particular products and services is subject to final determination by JPMC and or its affiliates/subsidiaries. The material contained herein is intended as a general market commentary, in no way constitutes J.P. Morgan research and should not be treated as such. Further, the information and any views contained herein may differ from that contained in J.P. Morgan research reports.

 

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