Based on input from CFOs in for-profit companies in the South Bend/Elkhart & southwest Michigan region, the first quarter 2022 Michiana Benchmark Business Index declined for the second quarter in a row, after setting a record high in the third quarter of 2021. The first quarter Benchmark Index was 71.61, out of a maximum possible score of 100, a decrease of 4.3% from the prior quarter results. While the overall Index is down from its record high level of 78.7 in Q3 2021, it is still the fourth highest quarterly result in over twelve years since Kruggel Lawton CPAs launched this survey in 2010.
This quarterly survey tracks changes in companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter of the prior year, along with CFOs’ perception of the business outlook for their companies. Anonymous input from participating CFOs on these four metrics is combined into the overall Benchmark Business Index to provide a barometer of the regional business climate. Noteworthy first quarter 2022 results include:
“The relatively modest decline in the Index could be considered a pleasant surprise given the events in the first quarter of 2022: the Covid Omicron variant surge in January and February; the Russian invasion of Ukraine; inflationary and price pressures in most sectors of the economy; and continued challenges in finding available employees, coupled with upward wage pressure,” said Terry Bush, a director at Kruggel Lawton CPAs. “The CFO Optimism metric – the only qualitative metric in the survey – is a likely reflection of CFOs’ unease about increasing risk and volatility. However, the overall Benchmark Index is still at a relatively high level, indicating continued strength in the economy of the South Bend region.”
Overall Results through 1st Quarter 2022
Detailed Results Since Inception of Survey