Only 49% of area businesses expect their profits to grow during the second quarter of 2023 and 22% expect profit declines, according to the latest Business Outlook Survey conducted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
Of those surveyed, 50% expect job gains during the second quarter (compared to a year ago), while only 14% expect job cuts.
60% expect sales increases during the quarter and 19% expect their sales to decline during the quarter.
“The level of optimism expressed by metro area businesses on quarterly sales and profit growth are on the low end of the historical range for expected future growth while employment optimism was a bit more robust,” said Bret Mayborne, MMAC’s economic research director. “These results suggest slower local economic growth in the near-term and a possible recession in the year’s second half.”
“Job growth in 2023 is off to a slow start,” the MMAC report states. “Employment growth in 2023’s first quarter averaged 0.2% year-over-year, down from the 1.4% growth registered in 2022’s fourth quarter. Nonetheless, while sales and profit expectations are tepid by historical standards, area businesses remain generally optimistic about continued job growth.”