QuOTE Findings: 2017 Q2

Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs Shows Level Optimism in Q2 2017 Relative to Q1 2017

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The Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs (QuOTE) survey for Q2 2017, conducted by the City of Raleigh and the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, finds entrepreneurs are viewing the next six months with the same level of optimism as found in the QuOTE’s first-quarter 2017 survey results.

Among the entrepreneurs participating in the second-quarter survey, a slightly higher percentage 84.9 percent (versus 84.1 percent in Q1 2017) report that they anticipate the next six months may bring increases in sales. In terms of capital spending, a slightly lower percentage, 58.7 percent (vs. 65.9 percent), anticipate increases, while for employment slightly more, 65.6 percent (vs. 64.8 percent) anticipate increases.

These data suggest that optimism in terms of sales and employment growth are slightly up while capital spending is slightly down. The outlook index remained close to level at 116.30  (versus 117.07 in Q1 2017).

“We have not seen this level of stability in the outlook index before,” says Lewis Sheats, associate professor of practice in entrepreneurship in the Poole College of Management and executive director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. “We are eager to see how the rest of 2017 goes. The primary strength of this survey is that we can spot trends, and it will be very interesting to see whether we see stability in entrepreneurs’ optimism continues.”

The City of Raleigh and the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, in conjunction with the NC State Poole College of Management, jointly conduct the quarterly survey which helps entrepreneurial companies in the Triangle anticipate business decisions and plan for growth. Jeff Pollack, an assistant professor of entrepreneurship in the Poole College of Management at NC State, adapted the survey and analyzed the data based on a similar survey conducted nationally with large companies by Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of American companies.

The following survey results, from the second quarter of 2017, show projections for the next six months for sales, spending and employment.

Q2 Survey Results

  2017 Q2 2017 Q1

INCREASE

NO CHANGE

DECREASE

INCREASE

NO CHANGE

DECREASE

How do you expect your company’s sales to change in the next six months?   84.9%  11.9%  3.2% 84.1% 13.6% 2.3%
How do you expect your company’s U.S. capital spending to change in the next six months?   58.7%  36.5%  4.8% 65.9% 27.3% 6.8%
How do you expect your company’s U.S. employment to change in the next six months?   65.6%  32.1%  2.3% 64.8% 30.7% 4.5%

Q2 Economic Outlook Index

The results also provide an overall entrepreneurs’ economic outlook index, which is based on businesses’ projected six-month sales, capital spending and employment figures. Over time, trends in this index can be viewed as indicating general optimism or pessimism about entrepreneurship in the Triangle.

Survey Date

Entrepreneurs’ Economic Outlook Index

Q2 2017 116.30
Q1 2017 117.07
Q4 2016 108.47
Q3 2016 110.70
Q2 2016 103.80
Q1 2016 110.77
Q4 2015 103.93
Q3 2015 107.80
Q2 2015 121.83
Q1 2015 117.68
Q4 2014 113.67

 

The City of Raleigh, NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic and the Poole College of Management plan to expand the survey. Triangle entrepreneurs who would like to participate should email their name, business name and email address to TheEClinic@ncsu.edu. Participation is free, and responses are confidential.