"Trump gives a big bump to business confidence, McDonald Hopkins survey finds"
The reason, the Cleveland law firm says, is simple: President Donald Trump, who was cited by one survey respondent as "a positive game changer for the business community."
McDonald Hopkins says in a summary of the report that nearly 80% of the respondents believe U.S. business conditions will improve this year, compared with just 44% who said that in the year-ago survey predicting conditions for 2016.
In 2016, only 2% of respondents expected "significant improvement" in business conditions; this year, that figure is up to 19%. (You can read the full 2017 report here. The survey was conducted from Jan. 4 to Jan. 31.)
McDonald Hopkins reports that business owners and executives "are just as upbeat about their own organizations" as they are about the general state of the economy. For instance, 77% of respondents said they expect business conditions to improve at their companies, and 55% said they are likely to increase their number of employees this year. However, the firm said, 50% define attracting top talent as a significant business issue.
Among the survey's other findings:
- 78% of respondents believe passage of comprehensive tax reform is important to their company. "Without tax reform across the board, business growth will be limited," one respondent told the firm.
- From a list of 12 business challenges, the three greatest are retaining profit margins (41%); federal, state, and local regulations (41%); and stiff competition (40%). Increasing health care costs (37%) dropped to fourth place from first place last year.
- Although data privacy and cybersecurity threats are a big concern for most companies, only 23% described their organization as very prepared.