Print
Banking & Finance

NC Business People Optimistic, Survey Shows  

By Jenny Callison, posted Nov 2, 2018
While North Carolina business people are slightly less optimistic about the economy this fall, their outlook is still more positive than it was a year ago, according to PNC Bank’s semiannual survey of small and middle-market business owners and executives in the state.
 
“Historic optimism about the national economy from spring (48 percent) chilled slightly this fall (46 percent), but remains well above fall 2017 (30 percent),” the survey report stated. “Forty-six percent of busi­ness leaders described their outlook for the national economy as optimis­tic, the second-highest ranking in the seven-year survey. Half are optimis­tic regarding their own businesses for the next six months, a slight drop from the historic high of 52 percent in spring 2018.”  
 
Expectations for increased sales are one reason for the North Car­olina business owners’ optimism, according to the PNC report.
 
“Six in 10 business leaders expect increased profits, dropping from spring 2018 (70 percent) but still well above fall 2017 (50 percent),” the report stated.   
 
Prices of goods and services were also on the minds of survey respon­dents. More than half (57 percent) anticipate their suppliers will charge more, and 46 percent plan to charge their customers more. Only 1 percent of businesses expect to lower prices.  
 
These results show a significant increase from the spring 2018 survey, in which 46 percent of respondents expected higher supplier prices and 34 percent planned to charge their customers more.   
 
“Keeping up with rising non-la­bor costs and increasing business and favorable market conditions are among the key drivers of higher prices,” the report said. 
 
With regard to wages, the sur­vey found respondents planning to increase wages is at a survey high of 43 percent (compared to 38 percent in the spring survey). Only 2 percent plan to decrease wages, a survey low.   
 
“Among those business leaders planning to decrease or maintain wages, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) point to wages that are already com­petitive for their industry and see no issues with employee turnover at cur­rent wages as deciding factors,” the report stated, adding, “Nearly two in 10 North Carolina business leaders (18 percent) plan to add full-time employees in the next six months; just two percent expect to reduce the number of full-time employees.”   
 
In their optimism about the national economy and their own prospects, North Carolina business people ranked slightly above the na­tional average in the PNC survey.   
 
“North Carolina continues to en­joy robust job growth coupled with low unemployment rates in most counties,” said PNC economist Gus Faucher in his survey analysis. “With a strengthening in manufacturing, the gap in economic activity between metro and rural areas is tightening. With large population gains and solid national economic growth, the North Carolina economy will continue to expand into 2019. The effects of [Hurricane] Florence will be felt in Eastern Carolina, but the immediate economic damage will be small and temporary.”   


 
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Billhunter300x300 b&w

The Great Hamburger Debate

Bill Hunter - Wilmington Design Company
20180514 104209 51418120638

'I Hate...'

Steve Adams - School of Learning Arts
Deedeegasch 10218121741

Product Liability: Making Safer Products

Deedee Gasch - Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Trending News

A First Look At Wilmington Brewing Co.'s Event Venue

Cece Nunn - Nov 15, 2018

Two Wilmington Businesses Win NC TECH Awards

Johanna Cano - Nov 16, 2018

Tides Changing For Hampstead Boatbuilder

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 16, 2018

County Lines Blur For Businesses In Onslow, New Hanover

Cece Nunn - Nov 16, 2018

N.C. Ports Plans Another Turning Basin Expansion In 2019

Christina Haley O'Neal - Nov 16, 2018

In The Current Issue

County Lines Blur For Businesses In Onslow, New Hanover

These days, the business ties that bind the two counties include businesses that started in either Wilmington or in Jacksonville or other On...


Info Junkie: A. Kevin Lackey

Info Junkie Kevin Lackey, business development manager for Brunswick Business & Industry Development, on his tech and app recommendations....


Wilmington Hotel Completes Renovations

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Wilmington-University Center was redesigned inside and out, over a six-month period....

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2018 Power Breakfast - Dishing on the Restaurant Biz
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes