BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index Releases First Quarterly Report

Mecklenburg County Business Leaders Optimistic About Second Quarter

The inaugural BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index report was released March 31, and with an overall index value of 62.3, Mecklenburg County business leaders are generally confident about economic prospects in the second quarter (index values above 50 indicate positive expectations, and values below 50 indicate negative expectations).  This new index provides an early indicator of future economic activity in Mecklenburg County by surveying business leaders about national and local economic expectations, as well as their company’s expectations regarding sales, profits, hiring, and capital expenditures.  The survey was completed the first two weeks of March, asking business leaders their opinions about the second quarter 2011. 

The index is a collaborative effort between the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board and the City of Charlotte, with research and analysis provided by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.  Modeled after successful confidence index initiatives in Colorado and Alabama, the BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index will help city leaders plan for future economic development initiatives and provide forward looking data concerning business expansion or contraction. 

The results of the inaugural survey show that business leaders have positive expectations for all six of the component questions that contribute to the overall index.  With a local economic outlook index value of 63.2, business leaders have a more positive outlook on the local economy than the national economy, with a national economic outlook index value of 60.2.  Business leaders have the highest expectations for sales, with a sales index value of 68.4.  While not as high as the sales index value, business leaders also have a positive outlook on profits and hiring, with index values of 63.2 and 62.5, respectively.  The least positive outlook among business leaders is for capital expenditures, with a capital expenditures index value of 56.3. 

Participation in the index is open to all businesses in Mecklenburg County, who must first register to receive quarterly invitations to complete the survey.  For classification and verification purposes, the registration asks for company information concerning business type, revenue, and employment size.

To view a copy of the full report from the inaugural quarterly survey, click the link below.  For more information about the BusinessFirst Charlotte Confidence Index, its methodology, and how business leaders can register to participate in the quarterly survey, go to


To read the 2011 second quarter report: Download PDF

-- Jonathan Kozar

Photograph by Nancy Pierce