America's economic engine – Breaking the cycle

Post-election survey reflects optimism

After years of sluggish economic recovery, private company and middle-market business leaders believe 2017 may be the year growth will accelerate—a dramatic upward shift in business confidence fueled by post-election optimism.

America's economic engine – Breaking the cycle

Our survey findings reveal that respondents are generally hopeful that a new administration in Washington will bring relief in key areas such as taxation and regulation, and they believe the economy will benefit directly from these actions. They also feel the election results have increased the level of uncertainty and there are key policy areas where the respondents are decidedly split on the right course of action.

Highlights of key findings include:

  • Eighty-three percent of executives surveyed after the November election are confident that the US economy will improve over the next two years (compared to 65 percent last year).
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents expect the US economy to grow in excess of 3.5 percent over the next 12 months.
  • Eighty-four percent of respondents said global trade is important to their company’s supply chain.
  • Twenty-eight percent of respondents said their companies would likely go public in 2017, nearly doubling the number of companies from last year (15 percent).
  • Business leaders cite three top obstacles to their companies' growth: increased regulatory compliance (33 percent), keeping up with the pace of technology (33 percent), and rising health care costs (32 percent).
  • Fifty-three percent of companies surveyed say they will likely pursue M&A as an acquirer, up from 39 percent a year ago; 45 percent say they will likely be an M&A target, up from just 21 percent last year.

To learn more, download the report. The full survey results are included in a separate appendix below.

About this survey

From November 28 to December 7, 2016, a Deloitte survey conducted by OnResearch, a market research firm, polled 525 executives at US middle market companies about their expectations, experiences, and plans for becoming more competitive in the current economic environment. Respondents were limited to executives at private and middle market companies with annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion.

Eighty-one percent of the companies represented were privately held; 19 percent were public. Of the private companies, 34 percent were family-owned and 33 percent were closely (non-family) held; 33 percent were private-equity or venture capital-backed or had other ownership structures.

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