MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee area businesses are feeling pretty
optimistic toward 2014’s second quarter, according to a Business
Outlook Survey conducted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee
Association of Commerce.
Seventy-two percent of businesses surveyed expect to see sales
increases in 2014’s second quarter, 57 percent expect profit
increases, and over 40 percent predict job gains in the new
“Quarterly sales optimism among area businesses improved for the
fourth time in the past
five quarters, from a post-recession low of 49 percent in 2013’s
first quarter to the current 72 percent,” said Bret Mayborne,
MMAC’s economic research director. “While sales expectations are
at levels expected in a solid growth environment, the levels of
optimism expressed on profits and employment are a bit more
Non-manufacturers are particularly optimistic about future sales
levels, the survey showed. Seventy-five percent of
non-manufacturers surveyed see improved real sales levels in
2014’s second quarter. That’s seven percentage points higher
than the level of optimism expressed by manufacturers at 68
According to the survey, 72 percent of those surveyed expect to
see second-quarter real sales gains, 9 percent will see sales
declines, and 19 percent expect no change.
Profit forecasts remain rather modest, according to a MMAC
statement. Fifty-seven percent of all Milwaukee-area businesses
expect to see higher profits in 2014’s second quarter, up from
the 54 percent who forecast first-quarter 2014 profit gains.
Currently, 13 percent predict profit declines, while 30 percent
see no change.
The Business Outlook Survey contains responses from 123
Milwaukee-area firms, both large and small, employing more than