First Business economic survey notes optimism for 2016

Results of the 13th annual First Business Economic Survey show Dane County business owners are largely positive in their 2016 outlook.

First Business’ annual economic survey of Dane County, the Greater Milwaukee Region, Southeast Wisconsin, and Northeast Wisconsin focuses on the current year’s actual and next year’s predicted: sales revenue, total operating costs, capital expenditures, profitability, number of employee, changes in wages, and changes in pricing.

Overall, results were strongly positive across Dane County:

  • 32% of Dane County businesses report performance exceeding expectations.
  • 72% of Dane County companies reported increased sales in 2015.
  • 52% of Dane County companies saw increased profits.

Improved employment was reported in each region for 2015:

  • Between 70%–90% of companies either had an increase or no change in their number of employees in 2015.

Overall, businesses in Wisconsin are very optimistic about 2016:

  • Between 78%–81% of companies across regions project sales increases in 2016.
  • At least 62% or more companies across regions expect an increase in profits.
  • Between 70%–81% of companies across regions project better overall performance in 2016
  • Hiring and wages are expected to see positive growth

Download the full Cross Regional Report or any local report for Dane County, the Greater Milwaukee Region, Southeast Wisconsin, or Northeast Wisconsin at