The second quarter 2021 Michiana Benchmark Business Index, compiled by the certified public accounting and consulting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, rose in the second quarter of the year to the highest score in the nearly eleven years since the survey began. The second quarter Index was 73.01 out of a maximum possible score of 100, an increase of just under 10% from the prior quarter results. This follows a 21% increase in the Index from the fourth quarter 2020 to the first quarter 2021.
Kruggel Lawton launched this survey after the 4th quarter of 2010, in the wake of the Great Recession. This is a confidential quarterly survey of CFOs in for-profit companies in the South Bend/Elkhart and southwest Michigan region. The survey tracks changes in companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter in the prior year, along with CFOs’ optimism about the business outlook for their companies. Participating CFOs’ input on these four metrics is combined into the overall Benchmark Business Index to provide a barometer of the regional business climate. Noteworthy second quarter results include:
“The second quarter Benchmark Index seems to confirm what most of us already perceive about our regional economy – it is doing very well,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton CPAs. “However, we need to keep in mind that the quantitative metrics in this survey – revenue, profitability, and employee headcount – are compared to the same quarter of the prior year in order to avoid seasonal swings. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Benchmark Index scores in the first two quarters in 2020 were the lowest ever: 40.94 and 41.38,” said Bush. “Although staffing remains a challenge and potentially a constraint for many companies, the fact that participating CFOs’ optimism in their companies’ business outlook is at a record high is highly encouraging.”
Overall Results through 2nd Quarter 2021
Detailed Results Since Inception of Survey