Survey: Leaders of midsize businesses a little less pessimistic on economy

Leaders of midsize businesses in various industries report mixed feelings about the state of the economy and the possibility of pending recession, according to a recent survey conducted by JPMorgan Chase.

Forty-five percent anticipate a recession before the year’s end or believe the economy is already in one—down from 65% six months ago—while 36% of respondents do not expect a recession this year, and 20% are uncertain if one will occur. Business leaders who are pessimistic about the global economy for the year ahead fell to 39% from 60%, while 46% are neutral. Only 15% of respondents are optimistic about the global economy, which is up from 8% six months ago.

Those who expressed pessimism about the national economy dropped to 37% from 43% at the start of 2023. Fewer than three in 10 survey respondents (29%) are bullish on the national economy, which is up from 22% six months ago. Most business leaders anticipate increased revenue or sales (59%) and profits (51%), largely unchanged from the start of the year. The majority (57%) expect their credit needs to remain consistent in the year ahead.Business leaders cited labor shortages, inflation and competition as the top external threats or risks to their companies. Nearly eight in 10 business leaders (79%) say their costs of doing business have risen in the past six months, compared with 91% at the beginning of the year. Three-quarters are likely to continue to raise prices to mitigate costs, and 68% want the Fed to pause rate hikes.