SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

January 15, 2014 07:30 ET

BMO Harris Bank Study: 94 Percent of Business Owners/Executives Expect Their Business to Grow or Remain the Same in 2014, and Almost Three Quarters Think the U.S. Economy Will Improve or Stay the Same

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jan 15, 2014) -

  • Business owners very confident in the prospects for their own businesses
  • Majority feel the economy will improve or stay the same, although a significant minority (29 percent) think it will worsen
  • 6 percent expect their business to decline in the coming year

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that 94 percent of business owners/executives believe that their businesses will either grow or remain the same in 2014. Furthermore, almost three-quarters of respondents (71 percent) feel that the U.S. economy will either improve or stay the same. 

"The business-led economic recovery of the past five years has been driven by the passion, the hard work and the entrepreneurial spirit of business owners throughout our nation," said Dave Casper, Executive Vice President and Head, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "But the recovery has been slow, and some of the frustration from that lack of progress is being reflected in the differing opinions on the economic outlook." 

Respondents were asked specifically if they believe that their business will grow, stay the same, or shrink in 2014:

  • 53 percent predicted their business to grow in 2014.
  • 41 percent expected to stay at the same level.
  • 6 percent believe their business will shrink in 2014.

When business owners were asked about their expectations for the economy, the answers were decidedly split:

  • 37 percent expect the economy to improve.
  • 34 percent expect it to stay the same.
  • 29 percent expect the economy to worsen.

Businesses with revenues over $20M million per year were significantly more optimistic, both in their own prospects, and in the outlook for the economy.

  • 68 percent feel their business will grow in 2014, vs. 53 percent of all businesses.
  • 45 percent feel the U.S. economy will improve in 2014, vs. 37 percent for all businesses.

Casper added, "While there are concerns in the outlook for our economy, I take heart in the confidence that business owners have in the prospects for their own businesses. It is optimism like this that leads to capital investment, which in turn creates jobs and fuels growth."

Survey findings can be found at the BMO Harris Commercial Resource Center:

Positive Forecast for 2014 from BMO Economics

A recent report from BMO Economics on U.S. economic prospects for 2014 was considerably upbeat, given a combination of record levels of household wealth, lower debt, lower gas prices and improved prospects for employment.

"The clouds are parting, and therefore we're forecasting GDP growth of 2.9 percent for the coming year," said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets. "We foresee increased consumer spending and business investment along with export growth and improved household finances all playing a part in creating strong growth in 2014."

The survey was conducted by Pollara with an online sample of 601 American business owners in November, 2013. A probability sample of this size would be accurate to +/- 4%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris® and BMO Harris Bank® are trade names used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and approximately CDN $537 billion in assets (as of Oct. 31, 2013).

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