Sean Hackbarth Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


June 20, 2017


Mid-sized companies continue to like the Trump economy.

The second quarterMiddle Market Index (MMBI), a partnership of RSM US and the U.S. Chamber, hit a new high of 132.1, up 2.3 points since the first quarter. A score above 100 means the middle market is expanding.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed saw an improvement in the economy, and 62% expect improvement over next six months, down slightly from 69% in the first quarter.

RSM/U.S. Chamber Middle Market Business Index Q2 2017: Economic performance

One highlight from the survey is revenue and profits. More than half (55%) saw higher revenues and (53%) profits in the second quarter, and two-thirds expect both to increase over the next six months.

RSM/U.S. Chamber Middle Market Business Index Q2 2017: Revenues and profits.

Hiring is also a bright spot. Nearly half (47%) of companies said they hired more workers, up from 37% in the last quarters. Half also said they’ll hire more over the next six months. And in a sign of a tightening labor market, 56% expect to offer greater compensation over the next six months to lure new workers.

RSM/U.S. Chamber Middle Market Business Index Q2 2017: Capital expenditures and hiring.

The middle market’s off-the-charts confidence should be a warning flag to Washington. There’s the potential for a mismatch between policy expectations and results. “Given the political turmoil in Washington D.C., expectations on tax reform and infrastructure spending may need to be reset going forward, which would likely be accompanied by a reduction in the outlook for gross revenues,” said RSM US' Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas.

When it feels like things are bogged down on health care or tax reform or infrastructure, the MMBI is reminder for leaders in Washington that a lot is riding on them to get things done.

About the authors

Sean Hackbarth

Sean Hackbarth

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.

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