MMAC: Metro Milwaukee business owners optimistic

Freeman Staff

Jan. 23, 2019

WAUKESHA — Business owners in the metro Milwaukee area are feeling optimistic about 2019, according to a recent survey by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.

Seventy-two percent of businesses surveyed see sales increases in 2019, 65 percent forecast profit gains and 63 percent expect job growth in the calendar year.

“Business optimism in the metro Milwaukee area has trended modestly downward in recent quarters, but the overall levels of optimism expressed remain at historically healthy levels,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director, in a statement. “The results of the survey suggest continuing economic growth in the metro area but at moderate levels, with a particularly strong manufacturing outlook.”

However, area business leaders’ optimism about sales is lower than it was at the same time in 2018, but still positive.

Seventy-two percent of businesses surveyed forecast higher real sales levels in 2019 vs. the 80 percent who predicted annual gains at the beginning of 2018. Ten percent of those surveyed predict 2019 sales declines while 18 percent see no change, according to MMAC.

Of the businesses surveyed, manufacturers are more likely to see sales growth in 2019.

Ninety-three percent of manufacturers see sales increases for the year, while 0 percent see decreased sales levels. Conversely, 64 percent of non-manufacturers predict sales gains while 14 percent expect declines, according to MMAC.