Over the next three months, 90 percent of merchants expect to keep headcount the same or add jobs to their businesses.
optimism is holding steady, following the jump in economic sentiment in the
previous quarter that was fueled by 2010 holiday sale increases, found MerchantCircle,
a social network of local business owners in the United States. In fact, according
to the 2011 Q2 results of MerchantCircle's quarterly Merchant Confidence Index,
the current MCI score is 63.2, similar to the score from the previous quarter
Merchant Confidence Index is a survey of local business owners across the
country sharing their confidence levels in the current economy, and their
expectations of future revenue, marketing spend and hiring.
remain cautiously optimistic about the economy and revenues: 57 percent of
small business owners expect revenue to "improve" or "slightly
improve" over the next three months, unchanged from the previous quarter.
However, when asked to rate the economy compared with 12 months ago, the
percentage that believed it had stayed the same or improved dipped to 64
percent this quarter from 70 percent last quarter.
the next three months, 90 percent of merchants expect to keep headcount the
same or plan to add jobs to their businesses, down slightly from the previous
quarter, when 92 percent of merchants expected to maintain or increase
headcount. However, small business owners will continue last quarter's trend in
marketing and advertising expenditure, with 85 percent of small business owners
expecting to increase or keep marketing expenditure the same over the next
three months, compared with 84 percent in the previous quarter.
afterglow from improved holiday sales in 2010 continues to linger, as merchants
hold on to the hope of improved revenues in 2011," said Darren Waddell,
vice president of marketing at MerchantCircle. "However, the optimism
remains cautious, tempered by slight declines in perceptions of economic
improvement over the next 12 months and in hiring."
sixth Merchant Confidence Index survey was fielded online, between April 30 and
June 6, 2011, and sent to a random sample of MerchantCircle's member base of
more than 1.6 million local business owners. There were 4,942 total responses
from local business owners across the United States. Responding businesses classified
themselves as legal and financial services, automotive, health and beauty,
entertainment, travel and more, with 78 percent of respondents employing fewer
than five people. The survey data can be broken out by state, business type or
business size (by headcount) upon request, the company noted in a release.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.