Results from a new survey from PNC Bank suggest small and mid-sized business owners have the highest level of optimism toward the economy in the seven years it has conducted the study. The Spring 2017 PNC Economic Outlook shows 60 percent of leaders surveyed anticipate sales increases by the end of the year and half expect profits to rise. The survey also finds 20 percent think full-time hiring will increase.

PNC Economist Kurt Rankin tells Inside INdiana Business the state continues to outperform peers in the region. The outlook provides a snapshot of statewide figures, not individual city markets, but Rankin says "I would imagine, based on our economic market area reports, that Indianapolis is leading the way (in Indiana)." He adds in Indianapolis, South Bend and Fort Wayne, "the unemployment rates in all of those market areas are lower than the national average, as well as lower than Detroit, and Chicago and Cincinnati."

More than 90 percent of business owners surveyed in Indiana report economic optimism for the next six months in the national picture, the local scene and with their own businesses.

See a recap of the report: