BMO Harris: Wisconsin executives positive about 2015

About 90 percent of Wisconsin business owners and executives expect their businesses to remain steady or grow in 2015, according to a new survey from BMO Harris Bank.

The survey, conducted by market research firm Pollara on behalf of BMO Harris, included an online sample of 781 U.S. business owners and executives, 52 of whom were from Wisconsin. It was conducted between September 8 and September 18.

Among Wisconsin respondents, about 78 percent feel the U.S. economy will either remain at its present level or grow in the year ahead.

“The business community in Wisconsin is optimistic by nature, and local business leaders are in a particularly positive mood heading into the new year,” said Jeff Ticknor, Managing Director and Head, Diversified Industries, Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank. “That positive sentiment is translating into business investment and job growth in many parts of the state.”

Nationally, 79 percent of respondents expected the U.S. economy to stay flat or grow, and 93 percent expected their own companies to do the same in 2015.

“The coming year is being heralded by positive momentum in consumer spending, which is music to businesses’ ears,” said Michael Gregory, head of U.S. economics, BMO Capital Markets. “Spending is finding support from strong job growth, lower energy costs and an appreciating U.S. dollar. In reaction to continued sturdy consumer spending, we look for more businesses to expand their production, lifting both capital expenditure and hiring. This job-led, domestic demand should propel economic growth 3 percent in 2015, the best result in a decade.”

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