2018 Professional Services Business Conditions Survey Results

Total (353 Responses)

How did your location perform during the last four quarters compared to the previous four quarters?
  Up Same Down Diffusion
Index*
Sales Revenue 50% 30% 20% 65
Profits 48% 27% 25% 62
Productivity 37% 50% 13% 62
Employment Level 23% 62% 15% 54
Labor Availablility 7% 61% 32% 38
Selling Prices 29% 68% 4% 63
Input Costs 53% 45% 2% 76
Space Occupied (square footage) 7% 88% 5% 51
Exports (sales to foreign clients) 3% 92% 5% 49
  Decrease 0% 1%-2% 3%-5% 6%-10% >10% Average
Wages Per Worker 3% 23% 24% 39% 7% 3% 2.8%
Benefits Per Worker 3% 43% 17% 24% 7% 7% 2.4%
How do you expect your location to perform during the next four quarters?
  Up Same Down Diffusion
Index*
Sales Revenue 48% 40% 12% 68
Profits 45% 40% 15% 65
Productivity 36% 58% 6% 65
Employment Level 27% 67% 6% 61
Labor Availablility 6% 67% 27% 39
Selling Prices 29% 67% 4% 62
Input Costs 45% 53% 2% 72
Space Occupied (square footage) 11% 86% 3% 54
Exports (sales to foreign clients) 5% 91% 4% 51
  Decrease 0% 1%-2% 3%-5% 6%-10% >10% Average
Wages Per Worker 2% 24% 28% 40% 4% 2% 2.5%
Benefits Per Worker 2% 42% 21% 25% 7% 3% 2.1%
What is your outlook on the following state economic indicators during the next four quarters?
  Up Same Down Diffusion
Index*
Employment 42% 51% 7% 68
Consumer Spending 47% 45% 7% 70
Inflation 64% 35% 2% 81
Corporate Profits 51% 38% 11% 70
Mergers and acquisitions 47% 50% 3% 72
Notes
* A number above 50 indicates expansion; a number below 50 indicates contraction.
The index is computed by taking the percentage of respondents that reported "up" and half the percentage of the respondents that reported "same."
Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding

Methodology: A stratified random sample of 2,300 businesses was drawn from a population of approximately 20,000 Ninth District professional business services firms (most firms in NAICS code 541). For each state, the population was stratified based on employment size; the sample includes 100 percent of establishments with more than 49 employees, 30 percent with 5 to 49 employees and 5 percent with fewer than 5 employees.

A postcard survey was mailed to each of the selected businesses. The mailing was sent in mid-May, and a second mailing was sent in early-June to businesses that had not respond to the first mailing. A cutoff for survey responses was June 19. A total of 353 usable surveys were received, for a response rate of 15.3 percent.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development produced and processed the surveys for Minnesota firms, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis conducted the survey for firms in Montana, North and South Dakota, Ninth District counties in western Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Business Poll Results [xlsx]