Three out of four U.S. small and midsized businesses are optimistic about their own performance for 2020, according to a survey released today by JPMorgan Chase. Further, the majority of company leaders – 70 percent of midsized companies and 62 percent of small ones – said they expected to grow sales this year. This confidence in their own companies, however, is coupled with concerns about the national and global economies.
Though 59 percent of midsized companies and 52 percent of small firms remain optimistic about the national economy, this marks a decline of 14 and 3 percentage points, respectively, from last year’s survey. Optimism about the global economy is also down from 39 percent to 24 percent for midsized companies (which are more likely to have exposure to international markets than small ones).
“Businesses are becoming used to a new normal as the pace of economic expansion naturally settles down,” Jim Glassman, senior economist at JPMorgan Chase, wrote in a summary of the survey. “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.”
Most of the businesses surveyed are investing in technology to realize efficiencies, accelerate growth and prepare for disruptions. For midsized firms, cloud computing is expected to be the most widely deployed technology for 2020, with 73 percent planning to use it, followed by data-driven targeted marketing (50 percent) and application programming interfaces at 46 percent. And 89 percent of midsized companies and 61 percent of small ones reported taking actions including purchasing cyber insurance, creating contingency plans and designating individuals and teams to identify threats and opportunities.
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