More than half of the nation’s middle-market companies plan to expand their businesses in the next six months with the addition of employees, equipment, or adding new facilities.
That’s according to the new KeyBank Middle Market Business Sentiment Survey released on Thursday.
Predictions for 2013 indicated middle-market companies might set records for mergers and acquisitions, but the same survey found nearly half the respondents “have not been merger-minded” so far this year, according to Key.
The survey found 49 percent of middle-market business leaders polled had no interest in making an acquisition, and only 24 percent completed an acquisition. An additional 27 percent indicated they considered but did not complete an acquisition.
It appears the middle market wants to “hedge its bets” given ongoing uncertainty about issues such as the U.S. debt crisis and companies’ final tab for compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Cindy Crotty, head of KeyBank’s commercial-banking segment, said in a news release.
“Until they have more clear information about these big issues, middle-market companies just are not willing to take the risk of investing in and integrating acquisitions,” Crotty said.
Middle-market leaders remain risk-averse despite their growing confidence in the economic outlook nationally, locally, and for their businesses, KeyBank said. More than half characterized the U.S. economic outlook to be “good to excellent” for the remainder of 2013 and early 2014.
KeyBank partnered with Los Angeles–based Lieberman Research Worldwide on the survey to understand what business sentiments are impacting each organization’s strategies and tactics, and to determine which regulatory and global-economic issues are affecting them, the bank said.
The research involved 400 financial decision-makers in middle-market businesses that generate between $20 million and $4 billion in annual revenue. Respondents answered online surveys in mid-April, according to Key.
Cleveland, Ohio–based KeyBank (NYSE: KEY) has more than 1,000 branches in 14 states.
KeyBank is the number two bank in the Syracuse–metro area deposit market with 27 branches, more than $1.8 billion in deposits, and a market share of 16.8 percent, according to the latest (June 2012) statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The bank has two offices, more than $58 million in deposits, and a market share of 1.6 percent in the Utica–Rome area.
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