The fourth quarter 2021 Michiana Benchmark Business Index, compiled by the certified public accounting and consulting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, declined from the record high level set in the previous period. The fourth quarter Benchmark Index was 74.83 out of a maximum possible score of 100, a decrease of 5% from the prior quarter results. This follows substantial Benchmark Index increases in the first three quarters of 2021, although at 74.83, it is still the second-highest Benchmark Index level reported since the survey launched.
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 fourth quarter results include:
“Based on the modest increase in the Revenue metric, the fourth quarter survey results indicate a reasonably strong business climate in the region at the start of 2022,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton CPAs. “The modest declines in CFO Optimism and Employment metrics may reflect a degree of reality after remarkably high results for these metrics in the prior quarter. The more substantial decline in the Profitability metric could be an indication of higher labor, materials and other supply costs, although the survey does not gather such detailed information. In addition, many companies continue to struggle to secure sufficient numbers of employees. ”
Overall Results through 4th Quarter 2021
Detailed Results Since Inception of Survey