By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
PwC US’s Private Company Trendsetter Barometer survey found that private companies increased their projected revenue growth rate for the next 12 months, up from 8.3 percent to 8.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Trendsetter executives’ optimism about US economic prospects for the next 12 months remained tempered, with 44% expressing confidence (down six points from 50 percent in the second quarter), 15 percent registering pessimism (up three points), and 41 percent voicing uncertainty (up 3 points). Despite the further dip in optimism, private companies are significantly more confident than they were this time last year, when only 27 percent expressed optimism.
The majority of private companies (55 percent) are planning net new hiring over the next 12 months, and only 5 percent plan to lay off workers. But slightly less net new composite workforce hiring is expected, down from 2.4 percent to 1.6 percent. Hourly wages are up though, from a 2.05 percent rate of increase a year ago to 2.57 percent.
While more than half of private companies plan to hire, 29 percent say a lack of qualified workers is a major potential barrier to growth over the next 12 months, showing a gap between the jobs that need to be filled and the availability of skilled workers to fill them.
Ken Esch, a partner with PwC’s Private Company Services practice comments:
“As we approach the end of another year of slow growth, US private companies are as uncertain as they are optimistic,” he says. “These mixed sentiments have been common among Trendsetter companies in recent years. But private companies are resilient, and so although ongoing uncertainty has caused some businesses to delay or scale back plans, it hasn’t translated into inaction. The uptick in private companies’ projected growth rate shows that they feel they’ve moved past the worst of the economic downturn and are in a position to take advantage of growth opportunities, particularly here in the United States.”