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The National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) today announced that the middle market, a leading indicator of America's future competitiveness, grew at a rate of 8.4% in the past year, but expects future revenue growth will slow according to findings unveiled today in the first Middle Market Indicator (MMI), a look at the health and outlook of middle market companies in the United States. The NCMM is a partnership between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and GE Capital.

The survey, conducted in March, found more than 70% of companies reported increased gross revenue in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011. Fewer than two in ten, or 16%, of companies said that revenue had deteriorated.

Despite these strong results, middle market businesses expect revenue growth will slow to 7% over the next twelve months. Although middle market companies are cautiously optimistic, they are still outpacing projections from large S&P businesses, which expect gains of just 4.7% over the same period.
"Given that middle market companies have been an engine of growth and a significant source of jobs during the recent economic recovery, we expect these growth and hiring projections will have a pronounced impact on U.S. hiring overall," said Dr. Anil Makhija, academic director of the National Center for the Middle Market. "This research is imperative to identifying the drivers and barriers of middle market growth, so we can continue to support their contributions to the economy."
Caution about Future Investments

Among middle market executives, 41% said they would save extra cash to bolster cash reserves or to make future investments. The remainder would reinvest either for:

  • Capital Expenditures - 20%
  • Technology - 14%
  • Acquisitions - 11%
  • HR/hiring - 11%
  • Other - 3%

Projected Revenue Growth by Industry

  • Construction – 5.5%
  • Financial Services – 8%
  • Healthcare – 8.3%
  • Manufacturing 8.4%
  • Wholesale Trade – 7%

Why the Middle Matters

The middle market is an engine of growth comprised of about 195,000 U.S. businesses with revenue between $10 million and $1 billion. It accounts for a third of the nation's GDP and more than 41 million jobs, or 36% of U.S. private sector employment in 2010. If the middle market were a country, it would rank as the fourth-largest economy in the world, behind Japan and ahead of Germany.
The middle market has demonstrated resilience during the recent economic crisis with 82% of middle market companies surviving the recession compared with 57% of small businesses. Not only have middle market companies by and large escaped the recession, they have also continued to grow: 27% of all large companies in 2010 were still middle market firms in 2005.

About the Middle Market Indicator
The Middle Market Indicator (MMI) is a quarterly survey of 1,000 CEOs, CFOs and other C-level executives from a geographically balanced sample of leading middle market companies in the United States. The survey examines the health and outlook of middle market businesses by analyzing capabilities, performance, growth drivers and overall economic outlook. The survey is conducted by independent research firm RTi on behalf of the National Center for the Middle Market located at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. More survey information can be found at

About the National Center for Middle Market Research

Founded in 2011 in partnership with GE Capital, and located at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, the National Center for the Middle Market is the leading source of knowledge, leadership and innovative research on the U.S. middle market economy. Through research, corporate outreach activities and student engagement, the NCMM is dedicated to promoting job creation and growth in the middle market as well as driving the dialogue on this vital economic segment. For more information, please visit

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