Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Survey Pictures Wreckage of '09

First Business Bank commissioned a survey of Milwaukee/Waukesha businesses. The 2009 results are not pretty at all.

More than 60% of businesses did not meet expectations in 2009.

• Manufacturing saw the largest sales decline, with 82% of firms reporting lower sales.

•  67% of firms reported decreased profitability. Nearly 33% of businesses reported steep profit declines, with "steep" defined as more than 10%.

• 43% of businesses reported a decrease in the number of employees, nearly double 2008 survey levels.

• 65% of businesses indicated no increase or a decrease in wages, nearly two-thirds higher than a year ago.

One hopes that the State's budget-writers are paying attention. All of this has impacted tax revenues for '09, and despite optimism, '10 might not be very pretty, either.

...the survey indicates 65% of businesses expect to do better in 2010.

...49.4% of businesses expect to leave their capital spending level the same in 2010 as this year.

The numbers are similar for hiring. For 2010, 59% of the companies surveyed expect to leave employment levels unchanged.

The 2010 projections for 'a better year' are noticeable, but so are the concerns about Fed (and State) legislation and regulation.

The report is here.

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