Barlow Research Finds Economic Optimism Growing in the First Quarter of 2014 but the Need for Additional Credit Minimal
MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The start of 2014 had small business ($100K-<$10MM) and middle market ($10MM-<$500MM) companies feeling cautiously optimistic. Although many signs point to a confident business community (such as optimistic expectations about overall financial condition, industry condition, sales and profits), diminished credit demand continued to linger. It appears many small businesses and middle market companies may already have the credit they need.
“There is growing optimism in the business market driven by improving financial condition, but companies are not ready to drive a robust recovery through increased activity. Their first goal will be to reward the employees that have stuck with them”
Credit demand continued to decrease in the first quarter of 2014. The need for additional credit decreased to the lowest level in over two years in both small business and middle market. Furthermore, the percentage of companies that do not currently need credit or do not borrow continued to grow.
“The challenge is going to be finding an area to create loan growth. With weak demand for additional credit, being competitive will be the only way to create large scale loan growth in your portfolio.” says Ray Johns, Managing Partner, Barlow Research.
Other important results from the first quarter 2014 Economic Pulse report:
- Confidence in the U.S. economy regained losses from the previous quarter.
- Small business optimism about the financial condition of their company in the next 12 months reached its highest point in five years.
- A higher percentage of small businesses and middle market companies intended to increase wages/salaries compared to the first quarter of 2013.
“There is growing optimism in the business market driven by improving financial condition, but companies are not ready to drive a robust recovery through increased activity. Their first goal will be to reward the employees that have stuck with them,” Bernie Kuechler, Director of Data Analytics, Barlow Research.
About Barlow Research Associates, Inc.:
Barlow Research Associates, Inc., founded in 1980, provides research and consulting services to the banking industry in the U.S. and overseas with specialties in custom research, strategic consulting and syndicated research programs for small business, middle market and business Internet banking.
For more information on the study, contact Bernie Kuechler, Director of Data Analytics at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763-253-1830.