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Q3 2024 Business Trends from Our Latest Survey

We surveyed clients and prospects across a diverse range of industries around our Midwest footprint to gather valuable insights into business expectations heading into the third quarter of 2024 and beyond.

The survey results indicate a cautiously optimistic business outlook for the 3rd quarter. A majority of respondents (52%) expect flat sales, while 39% anticipate strong sales. The economy is the leading concern (40%), followed by sales (22%) and recruiting/hiring (17%). Employee retention (31%) and sales (29%) are the top sources of optimism.

The economy is expected to have the most significant impact on business (69%), with supply chain issues also being a considerable factor (37%). Most companies plan to maintain current staffing levels (69%) and payrates/benefits (75%), with a notable portion considering increases in both areas (29% for staffing and 23% for payrates/benefits). 

Here are the survey questions and responses:

What are your business expectations for the 3rd quarter?
•    We anticipate weak sales 9%
•    We anticipate flat sales 52%
•    We anticipate strong sales 39%

What is the leading concern you have going into the 3rd quarter?
•    Economy 40%
•    Recruiting/Hiring 17%
•    Supply Chain 9%
•    Sales 22%
•    Employee Retention 8%
•    Technology Adoption 4%

What are you most optimistic about going into the 3rd quarter?
•    Economy 5%
•    Recruiting/Hiring 14%
•    Supply Chain 12%
•    Sales 29%
•    Employee Retention 31%
•    Technology Adoption 9%

Which of the following factors do you think will impact your business in the next twelve months? Check all that apply.
•    Economy 69%
•    Supply Chain 37%
•    Competition 29%
•    Labor Shortages 29%
•    Budget Cutbacks 18%
•    Technology Integration 17%
•    Training Requirements 12%
•    Employee Health/Safety Concerns 8%

What are your forecasted hiring expectations for the 3rd quarter?
•    Decrease staff 2%
•    Maintain same levels of staff 69%
•    Increase staff 29%

What pay/benefits changes are you anticipating in 2024?
•    We are looking at potential cuts in payrates and benefits 2%
•    We are looking to maintain current payrates and benefits 75%
•    We are looking to increase payrates and benefits 23%

While the Q3 forecasting survey results indicate there are concerns about the economy and sales, it’s encouraging to see a significant portion of businesses anticipating strong sales and considering staff increases.

As we move forward, it will be important to monitor economic trends, address supply chain issues, and maintain a balance between cautious planning and growth initiatives. 

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