SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

January 15, 2014 08:05 ET

BMO Harris Bank Study: Business Owners in Georgia Very Optimistic About 2014 Prospects

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Jan 15, 2014) -

  • 64 percent of business owners feel that their business will grow in 2014, while the remaining 36 percent feel it will stay at the same level as 2013.
  • Georgia business owners are confident in prospects for U.S. economy, and even more optimistic when it comes to Georgia economy:
    • 82 percent believe that the U.S. economy will either improve or stay the same this year.
    • 92 percent feel that the state economy in Georgia will either improve or stay the same.

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that business owners in Georgia are very positive in their outlook for the national economy, the state economy and their own business prospects in 2014. More than 90 percent see the economy in Georgia either improving or staying the same, and more than 80 percent feel the same way about the national economy.

"Business confidence is critical when it comes to the economy's continued improvement, and business owners in Georgia are feeling good about their prospects for the future," said Todd Giles, Managing Director, Commercial Banking, Georgia, BMO Harris Bank. "The majority of business owners we surveyed in Georgia forecast growth, and unlike other states, not one of the respondents from Georgia foresaw their business taking a step backwards in the coming year."

When respondents in Georgia were asked about the prospects for the state economy:

  • 40 percent expect the state's economy to improve.
  • 52 percent expect it to stay the same.
  • 8 percent expect the state's economy to worsen.

The findings were also positive when business owners in Georgia were asked about their forecast for the U.S. economy:

  • 53 percent of respondents in Georgia feel that U.S. economy will improve in 2014.
  • 29 percent believe it will stay the same.
  • 18 percent of respondents in Georgia believe it will worsen.

Respondents were also asked to identify what they felt was the largest advantage to doing business in Georgia compared to elsewhere in the United States. Answers were varied, but the top two were:

  • Climate/Weather (11 percent)
  • Good Transportation Options (10 percent)

National Results from the Survey

When business owners throughout the country were asked about their expectations for the economy, the results were as follows:

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

Owners of businesses with revenues over $20 million per year were significantly more optimistic, both in their own prospects and in their 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.

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 (including an oversample of 50 Georgia 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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