Private companies expect to outperform broader economy.

Position:ECONOMY
 
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Private company business leaders predict that their companies' performance will continue to outpace the broader U.S. economy in 2013, as they look to information technology investments and new products to drive their future growth, according to a recent survey by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP.

Though current estimates place U.S. growth in 2013 at no more than 2.5 percent, a majority of respondents to the survey--58 percent--say their companies are poised for growth of 6 percent or greater this year, with 15 percent expecting from 11-20 percent growth and 10 percent expecting growth of greater than 20 percent.

Respondents also say that the nation's current regulatory environment is putting pressure on their growth, expansion plans and hiring. More than half (57 percent) say that federal regulatory changes have had a negative impact on their businesses, and higher taxes and uncertainty about tax reform have impeded private company job creation and growth and prevented additional investment in otherwise growing businesses.

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"While not immune from the effects of national or global issues, the flexibility and nimbleness that comes with being privately held has helped business leaders innovate their way to growth," says Jim Liddy, head of audit at KPMG.

Among other notable findings:

* The fastest-growing private companies remain powerful forces in job creation in what is otherwise a largely jobless recovery. More than half (56 percent) say they will add staff over the next year, though plans to grow staffing lag behind revenue growth.

* Though the majority were growing revenues, those not seeing such growth (13 percent) cited several reasons. Most frequently (41 percent), companies said their customers were experiencing their own financial duress.

* Other issues include increased domestic competition (37 percent) and global uncertainty and economic unrest (30 percent); 26 percent say revenues have declined due to new regulations and 22 percent point to increased foreign competition.

Overall, respondents identified a range of factors hampering...

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