Tennessee business leaders say their outlook for 2021 has dropped significantly from 2020, according to the latest Tennessee Business Barometer. Although the outlook had surged higher in October prior to the election, optimism for a brighter future has now faded. The Tennessee Business Barometer Index has declined to 212 from 309 in October.
Expectations for individual firm/business performance continued to improve, rising to 65 currently from negative-24 in October, driven by growing optimism regarding stronger growth, higher sales, and higher profitability compared to last year. However, the outlook regarding overall economic conditions fell sharply.
The Future Expectations Index plummeted to 6 from 188, driven by fears of worsening conditions for the overall U.S. economy along with fears of additional regulation and higher taxes. Business owners listed political uncertainty, economic uncertainty, staffing, healthcare costs, and business and government regulation as their top five concerns. Perceptions of the current economic situation and the employment outlook remained steady.
The annual barometer is coordinated by the MTSU Jones College of Business in conjunction with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Be sure your business is prepared for whatever 2021 comes your way. Reach out to a KraftCPAs advisor for consulting, planning, and help with your 2021 goals.