U.S. Businesses Report Growing Optimism about National and Local Economy, Chase Business Leaders Outlook Survey Shows

  U.S. Businesses Report Growing Optimism about National and Local Economy,
  Chase Business Leaders Outlook Survey Shows

 Small and mid-sized businesses expect to increase sales and profits in 2014

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- April 23, 2014

Thanks to an improving economy, U.S. businesses are expected to increase sales
and profits this year, according to the 2014 Chase Business Leaders Outlook.

Among the 3,500 business leaders surveyed, nearly three-quarters (73 percent)
of middle market companies and 67 percent of small businesses expect to
increase sales this year. More than half of the respondents forecast higher
profits as well.

These forecasts reflect the confidence that businesses have in their financial
performance: 80 percent of middle market companies and 73 percent of small
businesses have a positive outlook for the next 12 months – slightly higher
than last year.

“It’s encouraging to see that, despite some real challenges, respondents
continued to express strong confidence in the future of their companies,” said
Doug Petno, CEO of Chase Commercial Banking.

Optimism about the national economy is up 17 percent this year for middle
market companies to 54 percent, and up five percent for small businesses to 42
percent. Confidence grows closer to home, with 63 percent of middle market
companies and more than half of small businesses expressing a positive view
about their local economy.

“Small business owners continue to focus more on the strength of their local
economies, and it’s good to see their confidence continue to grow,” said Scott
Geller, CEO of Chase Business Banking.

Hiring plans are about the same as last year with middle market companies
planning to add more full-time staff than small businesses, 53 percent versus
29 percent. Both groups remain concerned about the limited number of job
candidates having the specialized skills needed for their open positions.

This year, Chase surveyed senior decision-makers at 2,400 U.S. small
businesses with annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to $20 million, and
1,100 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.

Regulatory environment

Healthcare and tax regulations continue to be the biggest concerns among
business owners, though the level of concern has decreased from last year.

  *75% of middle market companies are concerned how healthcare regulations
    will affect business growth, down 7% from last year. 46% of these
    respondents plan to require employees to pay a greater percentage of costs
    toward their coverage in the next 12 months.
  *56% of small businesses are extremely or very concerned about rising
    taxes, followed by healthcare regulation (54%). To deal with rising
    healthcare costs, many small businesses are imposing higher deductibles,
    requiring employees to pay a greater percentage of costs, or limiting
    hiring plans.

Borrowing

  *70% of middle market companies anticipate a need for financing in 2014,
    primarily for capital equipment, working capital and acquisitions.
  *61% of small businesses are considering financing this year, primarily for
    working capital, capital equipment and technology investments.

International expansion

  *58% of middle market companies are active in global markets, similar to
    last year.
  *54% of globally active businesses expect their overseas sales to
    contribute more than 25% of total revenue by 2019.
  *For middle market businesses with no global activity, 13 percent expect to
    expand overseas in the next three years.
  *75% of small businesses do not sell to, buy from, or have operations in
    foreign markets.

Please click on the link to read the full report of the 2014 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 $2.5
trillion and operations in more than 60 countries worldwide. Chase serves more
than 50 million consumers and four million small businesses through more than
5,600 bank branches, 19,000 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online
and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. The
bank serves more than 19,000 mid-sized businesses, municipalities, healthcare
institutions and non-profit organizations through 125 local offices across 29
states, plus Washington, D.C. More information about Chase is available at
www.chase.com.

Contact:

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