U.S. Businesses Expect Organic Growth Amid Economic Uncertainty, Chase Business Leaders Outlook Survey Shows

  U.S. Businesses Expect Organic Growth Amid Economic Uncertainty, Chase
  Business Leaders Outlook Survey Shows

More than half of small and mid-sized businesses predict an increase in sales
                             and profits in 2013

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- April 23, 2013

American businesses are cautiously optimistic about their performance this
year amid a growing uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economy, according to the
2013 Chase Business Leaders Outlook.

More than half of the 3,500 small and mid-sized businesses surveyed expect to
increase sales and profits this year. Middle market respondents are more
optimistic with 74 percent projecting an increase in sales compared to 60
percent of small businesses, and 64 percent expecting an uptick in profits
compared to 55 percent of small businesses.

Business leaders’ optimism is tempered by rising taxes and mounting healthcare
regulation. While more than one-third of respondents are optimistic about the
national economy, middle market companies are 12 percent less optimistic than
they were last year. In addition, small business owners are almost twice as
likely to hold a pessimistic view of the national economy than mid-sized
respondents.

Confidence grows closer to home, with more than half of respondents expressing
a positive view of their local economy and more than 70 percent having a
bullish outlook for their own company’s performance.

“It is a good sign that we are seeing businesses remain confident about their
own performance and local economy, despite facing broader economic
challenges,” said Doug Petno, CEO of Chase Commercial Banking. “Business
leaders feel better about things they can touch and control.”

The majority of businesses are taking a cautious approach to borrowing, with
less than one-third anticipating an increased need for additional credit. New
financing will be primarily geared towards capital equipment and working
capital as business owners focus on attracting new customers, expanding
products and services, and cross-selling to their existing client base.

“Growing their customer base is critical for all companies, especially for
small business owners who said that adding new customers is far and away their
biggest concern,” said Scott Geller, CEO of Chase Business Banking.

Hiring remains a crucial component of economic recovery and 55 percent of
mid-sized companies and 31 percent of small businesses plan to hire new
employees. Only 6 percent of middle market companies and 4 percent of small
businesses plan to cut back on headcount. More than 85 percent of all
respondents point to expected sales growth as the motive for adding staff.

Wages are expected to increase among middle market companies; 66 percent
expect a modest increase in compensation, up 3 percent from last year. The
majority of small businesses (60%) expect compensation to remain flat, while
31 percent expect wages to rise.

This year, Chase surveyed senior financial decision makers at 2,500 U.S. small
businesses with annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to $20 million, and
1,000 U.S. middle market companies with annual revenues between $20 million
and $500 million.

Here are some additional highlights on what they expect in the year ahead.

  *29% of middle market companies and 30% of small businesses anticipate a
    need for additional credit in 2013, primarily for capital equipment and
    working capital.
  *The current regulatory environment remains a concern, with 72% of middle
    market companies and 60% of small businesses saying it makes it more
    difficult to add workers.
  *61% of middle market companies are active in global markets, up 18% from
    two years ago. (Figures are compared to the 2011 Chase Middle Market
    Business Leaders Outlook)

Please click on the link for the full key findings report of the 2013 Chase
Business Leaders Outlook.

About Chase

Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase &
Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4
trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50
million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,600 bank branches,
18,700 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as
well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about
Chase is available at www.chase.com.

Contact:

Media:
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Michael Fusco, 212-270-5089
michael.f.fusco@jpmchase.com
or
Mary Jane Rogers, 303-244-3142
maryjane.h.rogers@chase.com