Displeasure with Capitol Hill
A significant majority of middle market executives agree that middle market job growth will have a significant impact on strengthening the U.S. economy (96%). Despite this, 83% believe Congress is doing too little to support the middle market; while 95% disapprove of the job performance of Congress and 70% disapprove of the job performance of President Obama. Overall, two-thirds reported disapproval of the job performance of both Congress and the President.
Other key findings in CIT: Voice of the Middle Market – Perspectives from the Heart of the U.S. Economy, by CIT Group, Inc. include the following:
*Better off Today than Yesterday: The majority of middle market executives report that their companies are in a strong position today (60%). In addition, many remain optimistic with 55% saying they are better off today than compared to a year ago.
*Top Concerns Are Taxes and Compliance with Affordable Care Act: However, the optimism of middle market executives is not without its challenges. While most are worried about economic uncertainty in the United States and globally (81% and 70%, respectively), there are also concerns about potential tax increases (74%), compliance with the Affordable Care Act (70%) and compliance with government regulations (66%). In addition, 54% said they believed rising interest rates would have a negative impact on their business.
*Uncertainty and Talent Management: Looking ahead to the next 12 months, middle market executives express concern about talent management with 59% concerned about their ability to retain top talent, and 60% with their ability to hire top talent.
*Focused on Growth and Expansion: Respondents report that over the next 12 months their companies are likely to: increase the range of products and services they offer (59%); expand into adjacent markets (55%) and increase the size of their workforce (46%).
*Balancing the Budget: Indicative of their lack of optimism in the strength of the U.S. economy and overall poor job performance rating for Congress, a vast majority of middle market executives (80%) reported that balancing the federal budget will have a significant impact on their business.
*Satisfaction with Financing: Overall satisfaction with financing remained high. Eight in ten middle market executives (81%) report that they are satisfied with their company’s access to financing, as well as the cost of financing for their company (80%). Most also say that they are satisfied with the variety of financing alternatives available to their company (79%).
*Putting Capital to Work: With satisfaction remaining high about their access to financing, middle market executives expressed plans to put that cash to work for working capital purposes (35%), by investing in plant and equipment (34%) and financing acquisitions (30%).
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