CIT Study Finds Middle Market Executives Remain Optimistic Despite Concerns about Taxes, Regulations, the Affordable Care Act and the Strength of the U.S. and Global Economies
Middle market executives, whose companies take in more than $6 trillion
in revenues and employ more than 30 million people annually1,
are expressing renewed optimism in their business prospects compared to
a year ago. However, despite this positive outlook they are concerned
about potential tax increases, government regulations, compliance with
the Affordable Care Act and the current strength of the U.S. and global
economies. These are just a few of the findings contained in a new
Voice of the Middle Market – Perspectives from the Heart of the U.S.
released today by CIT
Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) cit.com,
a leading provider of financing and advisory services to small
businesses and middle market companies.
“Our study shows that middle market executives are optimistic about
their future, but temper this optimism over concerns related to taxes,
government regulations and compliance with the Affordable Care Act,”
A. Thain, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CIT. “As one of
the leading job creators in the United States and the economic backbone
of America, middle market companies are looking to grow their businesses
but feel greater attention needs to be paid to the policies that
directly affect their companies and their concerns on Capitol Hill.”
Better off Today than Yesterday: The majority of middle market
executives report that their companies are in a strong position today
(60%). In addition, many remain optimistic with 55% saying they are
better off today than compared to a year ago.
Top Concerns Are Taxes and Compliance with Affordable Care Act: However,
the optimism of middle market executives is not without its
challenges. While most are worried about economic uncertainty in the
United States and globally (81% and 70%, respectively), there are also
concerns about potential tax increases (74%), compliance with the
Affordable Care Act (70%) and compliance with government regulations
(66%). In addition, 54% said they believed rising interest rates would
have a negative impact on their business.
Uncertainty and Talent Management: Looking ahead to the next 12
months, middle market executives express concern about talent
management with 59% concerned about their ability to retain top
talent, and 60% with their ability to hire top talent.
Focused on Growth and Expansion: Respondents report that over
the next 12 months their companies are likely to: increase the range
of products and services they offer (59%); expand into adjacent
markets (55%) and increase the size of their workforce (46%).
Displeasure with Capitol Hill: A significant majority of middle
market executives agree that middle market job growth will have a
significant impact on strengthening the U.S. economy (96%). Despite
this, 83% believe Congress is doing too little to support the middle
market; while 95% disapprove of the job performance of Congress and
70% disapprove of the job performance of President Obama. Overall,
two-thirds reported disapproval of the job performance of both
Congress and the President.
Balancing the Budget: Indicative of their lack of optimism in
the strength of the U.S. economy and overall poor job performance
rating for Congress, a vast majority of middle market executives (80%)
reported that balancing the federal budget will have a significant
impact on their business.
Satisfaction with Financing: Overall satisfaction with
financing remained high. Eight in ten middle market executives (81%)
report that they are satisfied with their company’s access to
financing, as well as the cost of financing for their company (80%).
Most also say that they are satisfied with the variety of financing
alternatives available to their company (79%).
Putting Capital to Work: With satisfaction remaining high about
their access to financing, middle market executives expressed plans to
put that cash to work for working capital purposes (35%), by investing
in plant and equipment (34%) and financing acquisitions (30%).
Additional information about CIT: Voice of the Middle Market:
Perspectives from the Heart of the U.S. Economy, including the full
executive report, infographics and related materials, can be found at cit.com/middlemarketoutlook.
1 According to U.S. Census data.
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that showcases our support of the small business, middle market and
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About the Survey
KRC Research, on behalf of CIT, fielded an online survey among 301 U.S.
middle market executives representing a range of industries. Researchers
conducted fieldwork in August of 2013. In order to be eligible to
participate in the survey, respondents had to be in a leadership role at
firms with revenues between $25 million and $1 billion, the majority of
whose employees were based in the United States. Researchers defined
leadership roles as: Owner, Board Member, C-Suite Executive (Chief
Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer,
Chief Information Officer, Chief Investment Officer, or other C-Suite
title), or SVP/VP/Director.
Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE:CIT) is a bank holding company with more than
$35 billion in financing and leasing assets. It provides
financing and leasing capital and advisory services to its clients and
their customers across more than 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership
positions in small business and middle
market lending, factoring,
leasing, and vendor
finance. CIT operates CIT
Bank (Member FDIC), its primary bank subsidiary, which, through its
online bank BankOnCIT.com,
offers a suite of savings options designed to help customers achieve a
range of financial goals. cit.com
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Copyright Business Wire 2013