Middle-market companies' growth rate slows
Middle-market companies saw a dip in revenue, employment and productivity in the year ended Sept. 30 as year-over-year growth rates across the three factors fell below their two-year averages.
The data, complied by the National Center for the Middle Market, a collaboration between Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Chubb Ltd., an insurance company, show that while 71% of the companies polled had positive revenue growth, those that reported 10% growth or higher fell to 28% of the respondents, from 38% a year earlier. The year-over-year revenue growth at 5.8% was still higher than that of the S&P 500's estimated 2.1%.
The data also found that fewer companies are adding head count, a trend expected to continue into the next 12 months. As of Sept. 30, middle-market companies increased staff by 4.1%, down from the two-year average of 5.8%. Forward projections see growth still slower at 2.5% over the next 12 months.
Productivity reports show smaller declines, down to 1.7% over the year ended Sept. 30 from the two-year average of 2.1%.
Also mentioned in the report was as sharp decline in the confidence of the global economy, 55% of respondents said they were confident to somewhat confident in the global economy, down from 69% at the end of the second quarter and 80% a year earlier.
The data collected represent responses of 1,000 company executives across a diverse set of industries and geographies who manage companies with annual revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.