Thursday, June 27, 2013

SunTrust Banks survey: Companies more optimistic

In a positive sign for lenders, a second-quarter survey from Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks shows that Southeast businesses are more optimistic than they were a year ago.

Among leaders of middle-market businesses – those with annual revenue of $10 million to $100 million – 65 percent said their companies’ financial well-being has improved.

Leaders of small businesses were slightly less upbeat. For companies with annual revenue of $1 million to $10 million, 62 percent reported being in a better financial position.

SunTrust has 19 branches in Mecklenburg County, according to federal data. The bank has $712.4 million in deposits in the county, putting it in sixth place.

In an interview, Bill Peele, president of SunTrust’s Mecklenburg/South Carolina region, said the survey mirrors what he’s observing in the area he oversees.

“We’re seeing that confidence in our conversations with our clients and prospects,” he said. “Folks are feeling better about the economy.”

Peele said he's not surprised by the survey’s finding that investing in new technology is the top priority for businesses of all sizes, because he's seeing the same thing.

Also, he said, Charlotte-area businesses have begun expanding into new markets.

“We weren’t seeing a lot of that in the last few years,” he said, adding that expansions into global markets are growing. “We’re seeing a lot of that in Charlotte.”

Charlotte-area companies are investing more capital into their businesses than in previous years, he said, adding that businesses are also more confident about cash flows.

“They’re still watching it,” he said. “But over the last couple of years their cash flows have kind of stabilized.”

Companies are also still watching expenses, he said.

The report also shows that some of the top business concerns for companies of all sizes are increased operating costs, new government regulations, changes to employee benefits offered and changes to tax structure.


Elizabeth J. Neal said...

Bike Temple is organizing three bike rides from Temple GS Loans down to Schuylkill Banks to check out Schuylkill Banks' outdoor movie series. The first ride is happening this Thursday evening. Details below: