Market Overview

Barlow Research Reports Forty-Three Percent of Middle Market Businesses Applied for Additional Credit, Highest in Four Years


The first half of 2012 brought hope of a full recovery but as uncertainty grows around events such as the fiscal cliff, small business (sales $100K-<$10MM) and middle market ($10MM-<$50MM) confidence continued to weaken.

“Even prior to Hurricane Sandy, which occurred after Barlow's Fourth Quarter Economic Pulse Report was fielded, small business customers were preparing their businesses for an uncertain economic future,” says Bernie Kuechler, Director of Data Solutions, Barlow Research. “With the Northeast being the least confident, the key to improving confidence in 2013 is the rebuilding that follows Hurricane Sandy. The risk is that business owners who were already pessimistic about the future may decide to call it quits instead of rebuilding.”

Forty-three percent of middle market companies applied for additional credit during the last 12 months, according to the fourth quarter Barlow Research Economic Pulse Survey. This is the highest reading in the last four years.

“Middle market companies are financing their pessimism, which is unusual except when businesses are turning cautionary,” says John Barlow, President, Barlow Research Associates.

Other important results from the fourth quarter Economic Pulse report:
- Small business and middle market confidence in the U.S. economy fell for the second straight quarter.
- Middle market expectations for employment and capital expenditures fell in the fourth quarter of 2012.
-Small business applications for additional credit remained flat at 22%.
-Approximately one in four small business and middle market companies agree they would consider following their banker to another bank but less than one in ten agree strongly.

About Barlow Research Associates, Inc.:

Barlow Research Associates, Inc., founded in 1980, provides research and consulting services to the banking industry in the U.S. and overseas with specialties in custom research, strategic consulting and syndicated research programs for small business, middle market and business Internet banking.

Barlow Research Associates, Inc.
Bernie Kuechler, 763-253-1830
Director, Data Solutions

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