For Q1 2015, seven in 10 middle market firms reported year-over-year increases in revenues, slightly fewer than last quarter, but up from 64% of firms reporting increases one year ago.
While the number of total firms reporting growth is slightly down, mean revenue growth is slightly up. At 7.4%, the growth rate is nearly one full percentage point higher than what firms reported in Q1 2014. Mean total growth expectations for the next 12 months have dropped from 6.0% last quarter to 5.3% today.
Employment continues to grow, but at a slower pace
While mean total employment growth for the past 12 months has declined somewhat since last quarter, it remains over 4%, well above levels reported during the first three quarters of 2014. About one-third of firms expect to hire in the next three months, and around four in 10 (39%) say they will hire over the next 12 months, down from 52% that reported employment growth intentions last quarter.
Global confidence to lag behind national and local confidence
Middle market leaders are clearly confident in their local economies and in the U.S. economy as a whole. Yet, attitudes toward the global economic scene continue to be weak in comparison. Global confidence levels have remained flat since the beginning of 2014, with 55% of middle market leaders expressing some confidence in the global economy, and 15% saying they are not confident at all.
Talent and regulations are top concerns for middle market leaders
For the first time, executives were asked to write their greatest internal and external challenges for both the near and long term. From an internal perspective, talented-related concerns emerged, including acquisition, retention, and training. External concerns include increasing competition and government regulations.
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