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Optimism Abounds: Business Owners and Executives Positive About 2015 U.S. Economic Outlook and Growth Prospects for Their Business -- BMO Harris Bank Study


CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Dec 4, 2014) -

  • Almost four in five respondents feel that the U.S. economy will improve or remain at the same level in 2015
  • 93% think their business will grow or remain at the same level in 2015
  • Overall feedback is slightly more positive than 2014 findings

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found business owners and executives in the United States were optimistic about the prospects for the U.S. economy in the coming year; they had a similarly positive outlook for the prospects of their own businesses. Almost 80 percent of respondents feel the American economy will grow or stay at the same size in 2015, while 21 percent feel the economy will get worse. 93 percent of those same respondents feel that their businesses will either grow or remain at the same size.

"While there are some causes for concern, both internationally and domestically, business owners and executives continue to exude confidence in their ability to grow their business in today's economic environment," said Dave Casper, Executive Vice President and Head, Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "That continued confidence is vital to the business-led economic recovery that has taken place over the past five years. We're here to help with that continued recovery, providing business leaders with sector expertise and a full range of commercial banking, lending, and investment solutions to meet their unique financial needs."

The survey asked 781 business owners and executives if they believe the U.S. economy will improve, stay at the same level or worsen in 2015.

  • 38 percent expect the economy to improve
  • 41 percent expect the economy to remain the same
  • 21percent expect the economy to worsen

The survey also asked the same respondents if they believe their business will grow, stay at the same level, or shrink in 2015.

  • 56 percent predicted growth in 2015 for their business
  • 37 percent expect their business to remain at the same size
  • 7 percent believe their business will shrink in 2015

BMO Harris Bank conducted the same survey one year ago; the economic outlook this year was slightly more positive compared to 12 months ago. In the most recent survey, 21 percent of respondents expect the economy to worsen; a year ago, 29 percent had a similarly negative outlook. As for the outlook for their own business, 93 percent of business owners/executives expected their business to grow or remain at the same size this coming year, a drop of one percent from one year ago.

"The coming year is being heralded by positive momentum in consumer spending, which is music to businesses' ears," said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S. Economics, BMO Capital Markets. "Spending is finding support from strong job growth, lower energy costs and an appreciating U.S. dollar. In reaction to continued sturdy consumer spending, we look for more businesses to expand their production, lifting both capital expenditure and hiring. This job-led, domestic demand should propel economic growth 3 percent in 2015, the best result in a decade."

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, -Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $589 billion in assets (as of Oct. 31, 2014).



Media Contact:
Patrick O'Herlihy
patrick.o'herlihy@bmo.com
(312) 461-6970


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