Laurie Kelly
PwC's Private Company Services
(617) 530-4531

Trendsetter Barometer®

Each quarter, PwC's "Trendsetter Barometer" interviews Chief Executives of America's leading private companies.

Trendsetter Report

Trendsetter Barometer Business Outlook
Spring 2016

Current Findings

Trendsetter Barometer® Q1 2016 - Private companies see clouds on the economy's horizon but have sunny corporate forecasts

Measure twice. Cut once. That’s the old carpenter’s saying, and it’s also sound advice for anyone seeking insights from data. But which data do you look at? What exactly do you need to measure?

Well, you might start by sizing up private companies. For over 20 years, we’ve been taking measure of privately held businesses through our Trendsetter Barometer survey, asking their leaders what they’re seeing in the economy, their industries, and their businesses. We’ve learned that their answers can give us a better idea not only of where private companies — still the core of the US economy — are heading, but also the direction of the economy overall.

So, what have private companies been telling us lately?

They’re nervous about the US and world economies, but not nervous enough to pull back much on spending, slash revenue forecasts, or reduce headcount. Instead, they’re taking uncertainty in stride and keeping a steady eye on long-term growth — the kind of big-picture thinking that private companies are known for and that the economy benefits from time and again.


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Private companies remain on track despite economic jitters

At a glance: Optimism dips, but planned spending is nonetheless on the rise

Confidence stumbles, but without going into freefall

Private companies cast a wary eye at the economy, though most aren't outright pessimistic

Revenue forecasts remain positive despite economic uncertainty

Revenue forecasts still strong for 2016

Fewer businesses hire as US returns to near-full employment

Help wanted, but not tons of it

Staying the course, but scant new expansion

International companies are outspending their peers

Companies keep spending, though not with borrowed money

International companies are outspending their peers

Recent Trendsetter Barometer News Releases

Trendsetter Barometer® Q1 2016 - Private companies remain on track despite economic jitters

Trendsetter Barometer® Q4 2015 - Private companies see clouds on the economy's horizon but have sunny corporate forecasts

Trendsetter Barometer® Q3 2015 - Private companies feel less exuberant about the economy and own forecasts

Private Companies Optimistic about Hiring and Sustained Overseas Investment, PwC Survey Finds -- 07/28/2015

Private Companies Remain Bullish about Growth Forecasts and Hiring, Despite Concerns over Skills Gap, PwC Survey Finds -- 04/28/2015

Private-Company Optimism the Highest in Nearly a Decade, Despite Hiring Challenges That Threaten Growth, PwC Survey Finds -- 02/03/2015

Private-Company Confidence Rises, in Tandem with Greater Profitability and Risk Appetite, PwC Survey Finds -- 11/12/2014

Private-Company Leaders’ Bright Economic Outlook Spurs Stronger Capital Investment, Latest PwC Survey Finds -- 08/05/2014

Optimism about US Economy Driving Private-Company Expansion Plans, According to Latest PwC Survey -- 04/29/2014

Private-Company CEOs More Optimistic Heading into 2014 -- 02/04/2014

PwC Survey Finds US Private Companies Raise Revenue Forecasts -- 11/05/2013

Private Companies Signal Rising Confidence in US Economy, PwC Survey Finds -- 07/23/2013

PwC Survey: Majority of Private Companies Already in Compliance with Next Wave of Healthcare Reform Requirements -- 07/11/2013

PwC US Survey Finds Uptick in Economic Optimism and Hiring Plans Among US Private-Company Executives -- 04/23/2013

Vast Majority of Private Companies Reinvesting Savings from Cost Containment Measures into Growth Plans, According to PwC Survey -- 03/28/2013

PwC Survey Finds Private Companies Are Embracing Bold Innovation to Meet Growth Objectives; Talent and Technology Play Key Roles -- 02/21/2013

PwC US Survey Finds US-Based International Private Companies More Aggressive About Growth and Spending; Companies Overall Plan Increased Hiring -- 01/22/2013

PwC Survey Finds US Private Companies Increase Revenue Forecasts, Amid Overall Tempered Optimism -- 11/16/2012

PwC survey finds that private companies see business benefits in formal corporate governance -- 10/03/2012

Private-Company Optimism and Revenue Forecasts Dip as Economic Uncertainty Persists -- 08/14/2012

Growth-focused private companies embrace digital tools for customer engagement and research -- 07/11/2012

Optimism about US economy bounces back for private companies. Solid revenue growth expected by nearly all -- 05/15/2012

After a year of black swans, growth-focused private companies rethink risk resilience -- 3/13/2012

Most private companies expect positive growth, majority plan upswing in hiring -- 2/7/2012

US Private Companies Prioritizing Innovation as Growth Engine -- 12/15/2011

Private company economic optimism drops, but 12-month revenue outlook is fundamentally strong -- 11/10/2011

US Private Companies Pursue Growth Abroad; Emerging Markets Offer Brightest Prospects -- 09/13/2011

Private company optimism about the economy drops, yet spending plans strengthen -- 08/11/2011

US private companies increase IT budgets, with focus on growth and efficiencies -- 07/07/2011

Private companies see strong US economy, less certain about world economy - 05/31/2011

Majority of US private companies have identified workforce skill gaps; more than three-quarters plan to hire over next two years - 03/09/2011

Private companies' confidence in US Economy returns to pre-recession levels - 02/22/2011

Confidence in US economy declines among private company CEOs overall, but international companies prove more optimistic - 12/09/2010

Two-thirds of US private companies have had good access to capital, though some lacked sufficient resources to fund major initiatives over past two years - 12/09/2010

Nearly half of private company CEOs believe healthcare reform may have a notable financial impact on their business - 10/13/2010

Optimism among private company CEOs dips slightly in the face of regulatory, political, and economic uncertainty - 09/01/2010

Nearly half of private company CEOs feel pressure to take on more risk, many believe risks their companies face will increase - 06/29/2010

Full Trendsetter Barometer Archives