The Indiana University East Business and Economic Research Center (the BERC) of the School of Business and Economics surveyed regional businesses to research the business and economic pulse in East-Central Indiana.
The 2017 East-Central Indiana Business Survey was completed by 104 businesses in September 2017. In this survey, five East-Central Indiana counties were included to provide an overview of the business climate of the regional economy. Based on the responses from the business executives, the BERC computed the scores of the IU East Regional Business Confidence Index (IUERBCI) that are used to gauge the confidence of East-Central Indiana’s knowledgeable business leaders in the future.
The IUERBCI has a gross score of 2,430 for 2017, which is converted to an index value of 103.98. The 2017 IUERBCI has increased approximately 4 percent from 2016. This increase, along with the increases in the value of two sub-indexes (notably the Present Situation Index and the Expectation Index), shows the overall business community has an optimistic forecast for next year (2018), and an increasingly optimistic appraisal of the region’s current and future economic performance.
The survey was sent to 700 business executives in Fayette, Henry, Randolph, Union, and Wayne counties across a wide spectrum of industries including professional services, manufacturing, health care, information technology, retail trade, and banking and financial services. Of the participating businesses surveyed, 62 percent have been in operation in the region for more than 20 years.
The survey was broken down into sections including demographics, performance, expectations, concerns and forecasts for the coming year. A few of the survey highlights indicated that businesses were performing better in 2017 including increases in business output and activity; hiring more employees; increased investment spending; and respondents indicated that their business experienced an increase in profits.
The survey report is available on the BERC website at iue.edu/business/berc/. This project would not have been successful without the support and contribution of the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County, Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce, Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce, the New Castle-Henry County Economic Development Corporation, the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, and the Union County Development Corporation.
For more information, contact the Director of the Business and Economic Research Center and Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance Litao (Lee) Zhong, Ph.D., at (765) 973-8289 or the Principal Researcher of the Business and Economic Research Center and Associate Professor of Finance Oi Lin (Irene) Cheung, Ph.D., at (765) 973-8497.