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Mid-Market Perspectives - Spring 2011

A report on America’s economic engine


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An overwhelming majority – 93 percent – of mid-market companies expect the U.S. economy to grow after enduring the worst economic downturn in 80 years. However, ongoing concern about government debt and overall strength of the economy tempers their optimism. These are among the findings highlighted in Mid-market perspectives: 2011 report on America’s economic engine, a Deloitte-commissioned survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

This report provides valuable insights into an important market segment that helps drive the U.S. economy. Respondents included 527 executives of private and public companies with annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion. The analysis includes business metrics (pre-, mid- and postrecession), plans for growth (financing, global expansion, headcount), as well as the executives’ outlook for the future and what they view as potential obstacles to success.

To read the complete report, please download the "Mid-market perspectives" attachment above. Also available, is a summary report of major findings.

Overall, the survey found tempered optimism about the future:

  • Growth: For 2011, 93 percent of the survey respondents expect the economy to grow, and 81 percent expect their annual revenue to increase.
  • Productivity: Levels are on the rise, with 72 percent reporting higher levels than prerecession.
  • Hiring: A significant majority (69 percent) plan on adding full-time employees to their ranks this year.
  • Business expansion: While the majority of firms are focusing their growth targets domestically, 34 percent are expanding globally. Fifty-two percent of respondents already earn at least some revenues overseas, up from 46 percent before the crisis
  • Access to capital: Although challenges remain for some in gaining access to capital, 38 percent expect to pursue financing to expand their businesses in the coming year. The most popular options are asset-based financing (35 percent) and cash-flow financing (32 percent).

While these signs are encouraging, this group indicates that there are some fundamental challenges that restrain their optimism and influence their decisions:

  • Economic growth: Even though an overwhelming majority of respondents expect the economy to grow, only 20 percent believe it will expand at a pace that will support widespread job creation.
  • Government debt: Debt at all levels—federal, state, and local—was most often cited as an obstacle to U.S. economic growth.
  • Regulatory issues: Health care costs, high tax rates, and other regulatory issues also are frequently cited as obstacles to growth.

About this survey report: 
Mid-market perspectives: 2011 report on America’s economic engine is based on a Deloitte-commissioned survey of mid-market firms conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). During February 2011, the EIU conducted a survey of 527 executives of private and public companies with annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion. The survey included questions about business metrics (pre-, mid and post recession), plans for growth (financing, global expansion, headcount), as well as the executives’ outlook for the future and what they view as potential obstacles to success. Concurrently, the EIU conducted individual interviews with 15 chief executive officers of mid-market companies. 

We would like to thank all survey respondents and interviewees for their time and the insights they shared. The EIU bears sole responsibility for the interviews and survey results documented in this report.

As used in this document, 'Deloitte' means Deloitte LLP [and its subsidiaries]. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. 

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