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First Business Economic Survey of Southeast Wisconsin Reports Increase in Sales for 2016

KENOSHA, WI, – Dec. 12, 2016 – The results of the annual First Business Economic Survey for Southeast Wisconsin were released today. Each fall, First Business takes the pulse of local businesses through an annual economic survey in Southeast Wisconsin, the Greater Milwaukee Region, Dane County, 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 employee, changes in wages, and changes in pricing.

First Business has annually underwritten the survey to help business owners achieve a broad based and up-to-date understanding of the local business climate, which includes information that can be utilized in planning for the
coming year.

A summary of Southeast Wisconsin findings released today includes:

  • 74% of respondents indicated that 2016 either lived up to expectations or was better than expected in terms of overall performance.
  • In 2016, 56% saw an increase in Actual Sales, while 22% saw a decrease.
  • 47% of respondents saw an increase in Actual Profitability in 2016 (just a couple of percentage points below the previous year).
  • 37% of respondents increased their Actual Number of Employees in 2016
  • 69% of respondents saw Actual Wages increase in 2016 (an increase from the previous year), and the same percentage expects a wage increase for 2017.
  • In 2016, just 26% of respondents reported an increase in Actual Capital Expenditures.
  • The number of respondents who saw Actual Total Operating Cost as a Percentage of Revenue increase in 2016 was at 37%, a significant increase from the previous year.
  • 37% of respondents saw an Actual Pricing increase in 2016, and 63% saw prices remain the same.  32% see a Projected Price increase in 2017.

The outlook for 2017 is somewhat less positive than it was the previous year; nonetheless Projected Sales, Profits, and Hiring are expected by most to either increase or stay the same.

Download the full First Business Economic Survey Report for Southeast Wisconsin 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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