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Amid Global Complexity, Businesses Continue to Bet on Themselves, JPMorgan Chase Survey Finds

January 6, 2020 GMT

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 6, 2020--

Most small and midsize U.S. business leaders expect continued growth for their companies this year amid a less robust economic environment, according to the annual JPMorgan Chase Business Leaders Outlook survey released today. Three out of 4 businesses – 76% of midsize companies and 74% of small ones – are optimistic about their own performance, and the majority expect to grow sales this year (70% of midsize companies and 62% of small ones). They’re leaning into this expected growth through measures including more widespread adoption of new technology and increased hiring.

The national and global business outlooks are more cautious, with midsize companies in particular reporting a drop in optimism from 2019. While more than half of midsize (59%) and small (52%) businesses remain optimistic about the national economy, this marks a decline of 14 and 3 points from a year ago, respectively. Optimism about the global economy is also down for midsize companies, which are more likely to have exposure to international markets: 24% are optimistic compared to 39% in 2019. Among small businesses, global optimism is steady at 40% compared to 38% in 2019.

“Businesses are becoming used to a new normal as the pace of economic expansion naturally settles down,” said Jim Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase. “But it’s important to note that slowing economic growth isn’t a sign of weakness, and many of the concerns business leaders have point toward an economy that’s running at its full potential.”

Leaning into Disruption: When it comes to preparing for disruption, even more business leaders are mobilizing to make changes now compared to 2019: 89% of midsize companies and 61% of small ones report taking actions including purchasing cyber insurance, creating contingency plans and designating individuals and teams to identify threats and opportunities. Businesses are also embracing emerging technologies to increase efficiencies and reach customers more directly.

“In an era of rapid technological change, businesses are demonstrating their resiliency and taking steps to future-proof their companies,” said John Simmons, head of Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries at JPMorgan Chase. “Harnessing new tools and technologies and remaining agile will help accelerate growth in today’s competitive environment.”

Hiring from a Shrinking Talent Pool: Businesses want to hire to prepare for an expected uptick in sales, but a limited supply of qualified candidates is making it increasingly difficult to do so.

Setting Sights on Business Abroad: Despite geopolitical and trade-related concerns, midsize businesses remain heavily invested overseas and are continuing to expand into new international markets at earlier stages in their lifecycles. Nearly half (47%) of midsize businesses have sales outside the U.S., with an additional 14% planning to establish international sales or operations in the next three years.

Unexpected Growth is Common: Many small businesses (69%) report having experienced unexpected growth and of these companies, 91% have gone through it more than once. While small business leaders feel largely positive about the growth, they acknowledge having to work longer hours and purchase more supplies and inventory as a result.

“Unexpected growth is a good problem to have but it can be stressful for small business owners,” said Business Banking CEO Jen Roberts. “They have to reassess their short and long-term strategies, which could mean managing their cash flow more efficiently, incentivizing staff, or investing in technology to help them scale.”

Planning For the New Decade:

Businesses should get comfortable with today’s complex operating environment, and keep the following considerations in mind as they plan for the year ahead:

For more information on the Business Leaders Outlook, please view the midsize and small business reports.

Survey Methodology

JPMorgan Chase’s Business Leaders Outlook survey was conducted online from October 7 to 15, 2019, for small businesses (annual revenues between $100,000 and $20 million) and from October 29 to November 19, 2019, for middle market companies (annual revenues between $20 million and $500 million). In total, more than 1,800 business leaders in various industries across the U.S. participated in the survey. For year-over-year trends, current data is compared to data collected in the first quarter of previous years. The results of this online survey are within statistical parameters for validity, and the error rate is plus or minus 2.5% for the small business findings and plus or minus 3.3% for the midsize business findings, both at the 95% confidence level.

About JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.8 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200106005480/en/

Commercial Banking: Janet Yoo,janet.h.yoo@chase.comBusiness Banking: Kimberly Hooks,kimberly.hooks@chase.com



SOURCE: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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