Benchmark Business Index Rebounds in 1st Quarter

The Michiana Benchmark Business Index, based on a survey by the certified public accounting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, increased in the 1st quarter of 2016 by 5% from the previous quarter. The overall Benchmark Business Index for the 1st quarter was 58.20 out of a maximum possible score of 100, up from 55.59 for the 4th quarter of 2015. This quarter’s increase in the Benchmark Business Index comes after two straight quarters of decline, and marks only the second time in six years that the 1st quarter Benchmark Business Index has increased from the 4th quarter.

Kruggel Lawton CPAs conducts this survey of chief financial officers (CFOs) in for-profit companies in the Michiana region on a quarterly basis. The survey tracks changes in companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter during the prior year, along with CFOs’ perception of the business outlook for their companies. Survey respondents’ input on these four metrics is combined into the Benchmark Business Index, which serves as a barometer of the Michiana-area business climate.

CFOs from 48 Michiana-area companies participated in the 1st quarter survey. Compared to the prior quarter’s survey, two of the four survey metrics – Revenue and Employment – increased 9% and 10% respectively, while Profitability and CFO Optimism were relatively flat.

“It’s encouraging to see the Benchmark Business Index rebound in the 1st quarter of 2016, particularly after coming off of Q4 where it logged its lowest score since we started conducting the survey in 2010,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton. “The substantial increase in the Employment metric, which includes part-time and seasonal employees, is consistent with what we’ve been hearing in our region about stiff competition for talented employees.”

If you are a CFO in a Michiana area for-profit business and would like to participate in this survey and receive results, please contact Terry Bush at or call 574-289-4011.








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