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 Q1 2017 infographic pack

Current Findings

Trendsetter Barometer® Q1 2017 - How are private companies faring under the Trump presidency? The jury is still out.

“If we move past the crazy first days of this president and get something done, it would be great.” So said the CFO of an employee benefits and payroll services company when we spoke with him in the first quarter of this year. And “great” is indeed how some private companies think Trump’s presidency could be, given the right circumstances. “It’s too soon to tell, but based on Trump's priorities, we are off to a great start in making America great again,” opined the CFO of a meat products company. Other private-company leaders are less upbeat: “Trump may destroy relationships around the world and set back international relations,” the president of an IT consulting speculated.  

We see this mixed picture reflected elsewhere, too, with the stock market responding favorably to President Trump’s first 100 days in office but with the economy barely growing in the first quarter. And yet various fundamentals remained solid in the first quarter, which may account in large part for private companies’ sustained post-election optimism about the US economy. Two-thirds of them feel positive on that score — a good one-year leading economic indicator of US GDP growth. And nearly all Trendsetter firms anticipate revenue growth. However, that growth is expected to be more modest than what we generally see among these companies, resulting in fewer planned business initiatives, less money earmarked for capital expenditures, and flattening wages for Trendsetter employees, which is a leading indicator of payroll movement in the broader economy over the next year.

But as the CEO of a safety-equipment manufacture summed things up: “It’s too early to determine success of the new administration — 2016 was successful, and hopefully that trend will continue.” For our part, we’ll certainly let you know what trends continue to emerge in our survey as we keep talking with private-company leaders in the second quarter. To hear about what 300+ of them have told us already this year, please delve further via the thematic areas below.

Recent Trendsetter Barometer News Releases

Trendsetter Barometer® Q4 2016 - Private companies start 2017 with an optimism surge

Trendsetter Barometer® Q3 2016 - Despite lowered expectations, private companies keep spendin<>

Trendsetter Barometer® Q2 2016 - In these uncertain times, private companies remain focused on growth, though fewer plan to hire.

Trendsetter Barometer® Q1 2016 - Private companies remain on track despite economic jitters
05/05/2016 Trendsetter Barometer

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 News Archives