2014 Dane County Results
The results of the 2014 First Business Economic Survey are in. Find out what Dane County business leaders said about 2014 actual and 2015 predicted:
- sales revenue
- total operating costs
- capital expenditures
- number of employees
- changes in wages
- changes in pricing
A summary of the Dane County findings presented at the December economic forum included:
- The percentage of businesses operating at or above expectations in 2014 was a record 73%, the highest level since the first year of the survey (70% in 2004).
- In 2014, Dane County businesses continued an upward trend in Sales Revenue started in 2010. A record 76% of business reported increased Sales Revenue which was also a statistically significant increase from 2013 level of 55%.
- A record percentage of businesses in Dane County saw increases in profitability in 2014 (63%). What is more encouraging is that businesses are projecting even higher profitability in 2015 across all the sectors.
- While more than half the businesses (53%) reported an increase in Operating Costs as a percentage of Revenue in Dane County, the number continues to trend downward since 2012.
- Employment is trending up for Dane County with increases in both Number of Employees and Wages, although the changes are not statistically significant.
- There is now a five year declining trend seen in the percentage of companies reporting decreased employment numbers from 39.8% in 2009 to 8.6% in 2014.
- The percentage of businesses reporting decreased Wages is at its lowest level (4.8%) in the history of this survey, and more than 75% of Dane County businesses reported increased Wages for 2014 which is back to Pre-Recession levels.
- A record 84% of Dane County businesses responding to the survey expect increased wages in 2015 compared to 55% last year.
- Fewer Dane County businesses in 2014 reported decreases in Pricing compared to 2013 (down from 6.7% last year to 1.7%) continuing a fiveâ€year trend. An increase from last year, 62% of businesses reported increased prices.
- After reaching the peak in Capacity Utilization in 2013 when 38% of Dane County businesses reported utilizing at least 90% of their capacity, in 2014 this number saw a decline as 21% of businesses reported utilizing at least 90% of capacity.
- The top three actions attributed to improved company performance in 2014 are the same as in 2013; Increased Sales Efforts, Improved Internal Efficiencies and Increased Marketing Efforts.
- Capital Expenditures increased or were unchanged for 90% of respondents which is an all-time high, and still 46% expect to increase cap-ex in 2015 (the highest level since 2006). For respondents that consider themselves in “manufacturing,” 57% expect to increase cap-ex in 2015 – a record in that category.
- A survey record 90% (previous best 84% for 2007) of businesses in Dane County are expecting better performance in 2015 which continues a three year increasing trend.