Michiana-area CFOs’ Optimism Bounces Back in 4th Quarter

The Michiana Benchmark Business Index (BBI), based on a survey by the certified public accounting firm of Kruggel Lawton CPAs, decreased in the fourth quarter of 2016 by 1.1% from the previous quarter. The overall BBI for the fourth quarter was 58.28, out of a maximum possible score of 100, down slightly from 58.93 for the third quarter of 2016. However, the 4th quarter results showed a strong increase in optimism among participating chief financial officers (CFOs).

Kruggel Lawton conducts this confidential survey of 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. CFOs’ input on these four metrics is combined into the BBI to provide a barometer of the Michiana-area business climate.

CFOs from 38 Michiana-area companies participated in the fourth quarter survey. Compared to the prior quarter’s results, two of the four survey metrics decreased, while two increased. The profitability metric decreased 12%, and the revenue metric decreased over 5%. On the plus side, employment increased nearly 3% and CFO optimism increased over 10%. The increase in CFO outlook/optimism is the second-highest since the inception of the survey, and it comes after an 8% decline in CFO outlook in the prior quarter.

“Overall, 4th quarter 2016 Benchmark Business Index results are uninspiring,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton. “The overall index drifted lower for a second straight period, and the dip in profitability heading into the end of the year is noteworthy. However, the substantial increase in CFO optimism – particularly after declining in the prior quarter – is encouraging. Since CFOs are tuned in to the sales/order pipeline for their companies, this is a promising indicator for 2017.”

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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