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Midsized Companies Planning For Upturn

Recovery has reached midsized companies, according a survey by Chicago global accounting firm Grant Thornton and researchers Wirthlin Worldwide. The firms report that eight out of 10 U.S. midsized companies are optimistic about the future of their businesses over the next six months, and half plan to increase hiring. Additional findings of the Grant Thornton Survey of Middle-Market Business Leaders include:

  • 84% are optimistic about the growth of their businesses over the next 12 months.
  • 54% expect their businesses' growth to be organic, 17% predict growth through a joint venture/strategic alliance, 16% by acquisition and 4% by merger.
  • 50% expect to hire more employees over the next six months, with only 7% expecting to reduce work force.
  • 73% approve of President Bush's performance.
"To survive and thrive in the current economic climate, middle-market businesses are tightening their belts and getting back to basics," says John Desmond, partner-in-charge of the Grant Thornton Business Owners Council at the firm's New York office. "With clear goals set for the future, these business leaders are preparing for business growth -- both financial and headcount." Fifty-eight percent of survey respondents have changed their approaches to business planning in the past year. Three-quarters (76%) report a change in planning priorities; 61% are shifting the balance between short- and long-term planning, and 60% have changed their planning process, including who is involved and the timeframe. "It can be difficult for executives today to predict what the future holds for their businesses and the marketplace," says Desmond. "This unpredictability has affected and continues to shape middle-market companies' planning approach, process and timeframe."
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