Small, mid-sized American businesses to delay hiring recent survey found that small and mid-sized American businesses will likely delay hiring new employees and seeking out new loans amid wary optimism regarding a still-struggling U.S. economy.

The PNC Economic Outlook survey revealed one in four business owners are highly optimistic about their company’s prospects over the next six months, up from 23 percent last year, and nearly 50 percent expect sales to increase over the next six months.

Fifty-eight percent said they were optimistic about the direction of the U.S. economy in the next six months, while 41 percent said they were pessimistic. Seventy-one percent of business owners are optimistic about their local economics and 28 percent are pessimistic, compared to 59 percent and 39 percent respectively last fall.

“The powerful engine of the U.S. economy is not firing on all cylinders, but there are sparks of optimism related to sales, profits and housing prices,” PNC Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman said. “These findings support our baseline forecast that the moderate U.S. economic and jobs expansion will persist in 2013.”

Three out of four small and mid-sized businesses expect to not add new staff over the next six months. Nearly one out of three business owners said they would do more work with fewer employees, and only 41 percent said the federal government could take actions, including implementing fewer business regulations, that could positively affect their hiring plans.


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