A business benchmark index focusing on Michiana increased slightly in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Michiana Benchmark Business Index Survey suggests profitability, employment and chief financial officer optimism were all a bit higher compared to the previous quarter.

January 23, 2015

News Release

South Bend/Elkhart, Ind. — The Michiana Benchmark Business Index Survey, conducted by the certified public accounting firm of Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC, increased in the 4th quarter of 2014 by approximately 3% from the previous quarter. The overall Benchmark Business Index for the 4th quarter was 63.25 – out of a maximum possible score of 100 – up from 61.49 for the 3rd quarter of 2014.

For the 4th quarter, two of the four survey components – Profitability (up over 7%) and Employment (up 5%) led the way, while CFO Optimism remained at a relatively high level. This marks the fourth year in a row in which the 4th quarter Index increased after dropping in the 3rd quarter. All four survey metrics are higher now than when the survey was launched in 2010, with Employment increasing the most, by over 12% in that time.

“The Benchmark Index results for the 4th quarter didn’t rebound from what has become a yearly third quarter drop quite as strongly as the 4th quarter of 2013,” said Terry J. Bush, SPHR, a director at Kruggel Lawton. “However, the overall trend of the survey continues to move in an upward direction. CFO optimism remains high, which, in for-profit companies, is an encouraging sign given CFOs' unique insight into their companies' business performance and outlook. At the start of 2015, this survey is one indication that our Michiana economy is on sound footing.”

Kruggel Lawton conducts this survey quarterly among chief financial officers (CFOs) in for-profit companies in the Michiana region. The survey gauges companies’ revenue, profitability, and employment levels compared to the same quarter during the prior year, along with CFOs' perception of business outlook for their companies. These four components are combined into the Benchmark Business Index, which provides a gauge of the Michiana-area business climate.

If you are a CFO or controller in a Michiana area for-profit business and would like to participate in this survey and receive results, please contact Terry Bush at tbush@klcpas.com or call 574-289-4011.

With offices in South Bend and Elkhart, Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC, is a full-service accounting and business consulting firm offering assurance services, tax consulting, estate planning, business valuation, business accounting services, and executive recruitment. Kruggel Lawton also has national and international capabilities as an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA. Learn more at www.klcpas.com.

Source: Kruggel, Lawton & Company, LLC

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