WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Feb. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Chubb and the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM), housed at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, announced results from its fourth-quarter Middle Market Indicator (MMI) report. Findings revealed an increase in revenue, employment growth, economic confidence and investment plans among middle market companies, representing a rebound from the previous quarter.
Following a less optimistic third-quarter, two thirds of middle market company executives polled reported improved performance during the fourth-quarter, with 70 percent saying they would invest extra dollars versus putting money aside. This represents a 14 percent increase from the third-quarter, and suggests rising economic confidence in their companies' short- and long-term projections.
"The fourth-quarter report highlights a number of positive economic indicators that reinforces greater optimism, and that is encouraging news," said Ben Rockwell, Division President, Chubb Middle Market. "Perception of risk remained relatively steady quarter-over-quarter, with cyber security still ranking as a top concern for middle market companies, along with legal, regulatory and compliance risks. There are a number of immediate actions middle market companies can take to mitigate complex and evolving risks, and ensure that they have the right insurance in place to fill any remaining gaps."
In the fourth-quarter, 46 percent of survey respondents predicted risk for their company to increase over the coming year (a two percent decrease from the prior quarter), while 47 percent believed risk within their industry will trend higher over the same time period (the same number reported in the third-quarter). Top concerns among executives polled included: cyber security (43 percent), which remained the leading concern throughout 2019; legal, regulatory or compliance risk (39 percent – a six percent increase from the previous quarter); state of the economy as it relates to the cost of doing business (36 percent – down two percent from the third-quarter); closely followed by the state of the economy as it relates to growth (34 percent – a one percent decrease from the prior quarter); and competitive risks – whether domestic or new/disruptive competitors (24 percent – down seven percent from the third-quarter).
"Nearly half of middle market companies report plans to introduce a new product or service in 2020, and a similar proportion expect to expand into new domestic markets," said Thomas A. Stewart, Executive Director of NCMM. "These data align with reports of increased confidence in the global, national and local economies, and we cautiously believe the middle market is poised for positive growth in 2020."
Issued quarterly, the MMI explores current and emerging macro trends across the middle market, measuring past and predicted revenue growth, employment growth, economic confidence levels and business investment, along with their perception of risk.
Additional tools and insights for agents and insureds can be found by accessing Chubb's Resource Center. For additional information on the MMI, and to register for the March 12th webinar, "Rediscover Market Dynamics: Perspectives of the Middle Market Q4 2019," click here.
About the Middle Market Indicator
Created and managed by the NCMM, the MMI surveys 1,000 C-suite middle market company executives across all industries on key indicators of past and future performance in revenues, employment and allocation of cash, reporting on economic confidence – locally, nationally and globally; identifies key business challenge areas; and measures how these are changing over time. The quarterly survey is designed to accurately reflect the nearly 200,000 U.S. businesses with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.
About the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM)
The National Center for the Middle Market is a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, Chubb Limited, Cisco Systems, Inc., and Grant Thornton LLP. It exists for a single purpose: to ensure that the vitality and robustness of Middle Market companies are fully realized as fundamental to our nation's economic outlook and prosperity. The Center is the leading source of knowledge, leadership, and innovative research on the middle market economy, providing critical data analysis, insights, and perspectives for companies, policymakers, and other key stakeholders, to help accelerate growth, increase competitiveness and create jobs in this sector.
Housed at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, the National Center for the Middle Market is the first center of its kind in the nation. The Center enthusiastically serves middle market firms, students, academic researchers, policy makers, the media and other key stakeholders with interests in the health and well-being of the middle market. The Center is fully committed to funding and distributing the most credible open-sourced research, dynamically creating new knowledge, providing programs that drive value for middle market companies, and offering a well-informed outlook on the health and future of the middle market via the Middle Market Indicator.
Chubb is the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London, Paris and other locations, and employs more than 30,000 people worldwide. Additional information can be found at: chubb.com.