Other Key Findings:
Middle market companies continue to grow
Revenue continues to grow with 63% of firms saying that gross revenue grew during the past 12 months. That’s down slightly from the fourth quarter of 2012. The mean revenue growth fell to 5.8%, with most of the decline coming from the largest middle market companies. Companies also expect performance in the coming year to be better with 64% projecting revenue to grow, although at a slightly lower average of 4.9% than the 5.2% average at the end of the fourth quarter.
Confidence in the economy is a notable concern
As businesses look beyond their local economies, their confidence levels
deteriorate. Only 15% of middle market businesses are confident in the
U. S. economy, only 7% are confident in the global economy, yet 28% are
confident in their local economy.
Firms are cautious about future investment
Among middle market executives, 41% said they would save extra cash,
either to bolster cash reserves or to make future investments. The
remainder would reinvest either for capital expenditures (20%),
technology (14%), acquisitions (11%), HR/hiring (11%), or other (3%).
Policy and regulation post critical challenges
More than half (52%) of middle market companies see the regulatory
environment as more restrictive than previously, with only 4% indicating
it is less restrictive. Middle market companies cited four major
challenges as more intense than others; reported as highly or somewhat
challenging were: the cost of health care (92%), uncertainty over how
government actions will impact business (81%), the ability to maintain
profit margins (86%), and ensuring compliance with new regulations