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ANNUAL FIRST BUSINESS ECONOMIC SURVEY OF GREATER MILWAUKEE PREDICTS ROBUST 2018

BROOKFIELD, WIS. DEC. 15, 2017 – The results of the annual First Business Economic Survey of Greater Milwaukee were released today at the Key Industries for Wisconsin in 2018 and Beyond event presented by the Waukesha County Business Alliance and founding sponsor First Business Bank in Pewaukee, Wis.

Each fall, First Business Bank takes the pulse of local businesses through an annual economic survey in the Greater Milwaukee Region, Dane County, Southeast Wisconsin, and Northeast Wisconsin. The survey focuses on the current year’s actual and next year’s predicted: sales revenue, total operating costs, capital expenditures, profitability, number of employees, changes in wages, and changes in pricing.

First Business underwrites the survey to help business owners achieve a broad-based and up-to-date understanding of the local business climate to better plan for the coming year.

“I’m pleased with the results of this year’s First Business Economic Survey of Greater Milwaukee,” says Mike Flynn, President – Milwaukee Region of First Business Bank. “Area business leaders are very optimistic about 2018, and it shows. We’re pleased to partner with the Waukesha County Business Alliance to provide our local business owners and leaders with this data and a forum to help them plan and navigate the competitive landscape, arming them with strategic financial solutions.”

A summary of the Greater Milwaukee area findings presented at today’s Key Industries event include:

  • Strong sales and profitability performance in 2017
  • 29% of respondents report that 2017 overall performance was better than expected; 48% report that 2017 met expectations
  • 77% of respondents expect improved performance in 2018
  • 90% — a new high —expect an increase in projected sales revenue in 2018
  • 53% report an increase in 2017 actual profitability, down 9% from last year
  • A new high — 76% — expect an increase in 2018 projected profitability
  • A record 55% increased their actual number of employees in 2017
  • 64% expect their projected number of employees to increase further in 2018
  • 82% report an increase in actual wages, up 15% from the previous year
  • In 2018, 81% expected an increase in projected wages — a 10% increase over last year and a new record high
  • 49% of respondents expect to increase capital expenditures in 2018
  • The outlook for 2018 is positive, with 77% of companies expecting improved performance

Download the complete First Business Economic Survey Report for Greater Milwaukee at www.firstbusiness.com/survey.

 

About First Business
First Business Financial Services is a Wisconsin-based bank holding company, focused on the unique needs of businesses, business executives and high net worth individuals. First Business offers commercial banking, specialty finance and private wealth management solutions, and because of its niche focus, is able to provide its clients with unmatched expertise, accessibility and responsiveness. For additional information, visit www.firstbusiness.com.

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