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South Bend Regional Economy Shows Continued Strength in 2017

Published Friday, July 28, 2017 4:30 pm

The 2nd quarter 2017 Michiana Benchmark Business Index (BBI), compiled by the certified public accounting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, increased from the 1st quarter of this year. The overall Benchmark Index was 58.85 out of a maximum possible score of 100, up over two percent from the 1st quarter. Consistent with nearly all quarterly results of this survey, optimism of participating Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) was the strongest contributor to the Index in the most recent quarter.

Noteworthy survey results include:

  • The upward bounce in the overall Index reversed three straight quarters of downward results
  • CFO optimism continues to be the strongest of the four metrics comprising the Index, having been at a substantially higher level compared to the other metrics since the 4th quarter of 2016
  • The Revenue metric had the strongest increase, nearly 5.5%, from the prior quarter, while the Profitability, Employment and CFO Optimism metrics all increased about 1%

“I believe the 2nd quarter survey results are an encouraging indication on the strength of our regional economy,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton. “Employers in our region continue to vigorously seek talented employees while at the same time leverage technology and optimize processes to increase productivity.”

Kruggel Lawton conducts this confidential survey of CFOs in for-profit companies in the Michiana region on a quarterly basis. The survey tracks changes in companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter of the prior year, along with CFOs’ perception of the business outlook for their companies. CFOs’ input on these four metrics is combined into the overall Benchmark Business Index to provide a barometer of the Michiana-area business climate.

Businesses in the region are finding the Michiana Benchmark Business Index to be a useful gauge.  “The collection of up-to-date data and the wide geographic range make the survey and report a valuable tool for recruiting investment into the area by providing an accurate picture of the current business climate in the region,” said Regina Emberton, President & CEO of South Bend – Elkhart Regional Partnership, a collaboration of the economic development partners from Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties in Northern Indiana and Berrien and Cass counties in Southwest Michigan.

Terry Bush is looking forward to seeing the results of upcoming surveys to see if they can sustain broad improvements in revenue and profitability. “Given their unique role and insight into their companies’ prospects, CFOs’ relatively higher level of optimism is a positive leading indicator,” he said.

If you are a CFO in a Michiana area for-profit organization and would like to participate in this survey, please contact Terry Bush at tbush@klcpas.com or call 574-289-4011.

With offices in South Bend and Elkhart, Indiana, and St. Joseph, Michigan, Kruggel Lawton CPAs is a full-service accounting and business consulting firm offering assurance services, tax consulting, estate planning, business valuation, and business accounting services. Kruggel Lawton also has national and international capabilities as an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA. Learn more at www.klcpas.com.

Source: Kruggel Lawton CPAs

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