SOUTH BEND/ELKHART, Ind. – The Michiana Benchmark Business Index, published by the certified public accounting firm of Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC, declined by nearly eight percent from the previous quarter. Survey responses from 40 CFOs resulted in an overall Benchmark Business Index score of 62.5 out of maximum possible of 100, versus 67.66 for the fourth quarter of 2013.
The survey is conducted quarterly among chief financial officers (CFOs) in for-profit companies in the Michiana region. It is comprised of four questions about companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment level compared to the same quarter during the prior year, along with CFOs’ perception of business outlook for their companies. The benchmark index is a composite score from all four questions, or metrics, to provide a general gauge of the Michiana-area business climate.
The revenue and employment metrics each decreased by over six percent from the prior quarter, and the profitability metric dipped by nearly 16 percent. On a positive note, the CFO Outlook metric declined less than two percent, remaining near the highest level since the survey began in 2010.
“The drop in the first quarter profitability metric is a bit of an unpleasant surprise, particularly after the remarkable increase reported in profitability from the fourth quarter 2013 survey,” said Terry J. Bush, SPHR, a director at Kruggel Lawton. “However, the continued high level of CFO optimism about business outlook for their companies remains a positive sign. Since CFOs have unique insight into their companies’ business performance and outlook, we believe this is an important metric to monitor.”
If you are a CFO or controller in a Michiana for-profit business and would like to participate in this survey and receive results, please contact Terry Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574.289.4011, ext. 205.