Business owners in North Carolina are feeling more positive than they were six months ago, according to PNC’s autumn 2014 survey of owners of small and mid-sized businesses.
That outlook is reflected in plans for hiring, giving raises and increasing the prices of their goods and services, the survey revealed.
The Wilmington area is in line with these trends, Mekael Teshome, an economist with PNC, said in a recent interview.
“Wilmington is looking positive,” he said. “Retirees, tourism and construction are the core drivers of your economy, which is very much connected to the state, national economy... It’s consistent with what we’re seeing in the larger economy.”
In late summer, Pittsburgh-based PNC conducted its semi-annual survey and analyzed the results state by state.
In North Carolina, 17 percent of owners surveyed said they plan to add full-time employees, compared with 12 percent of those who responded in the spring survey and 8 percent a year ago.
About 1 in 4 owners (26 percent) said they plan to increase employees’ compensation during the next six months, up from 19 percent in the spring and 18 percent a year ago.
And 25 percent of survey respondents reported credit is easier to get than three months ago, more than double the 12 percent of respondents who said that a year ago.
“The survey is consistent with other indicators we see,” Teshome said. “There is a stronger economy and more economic momentum for the remainder of the year and into 2015.”
Teshome also sees that home prices, which rose as a result of declining inventory, are now settling into a longer-term trend.
“The supply of housing and demographics, as well as home prices and incomes, are better aligned,” he said.