Skyrocketing Business Optimism Not Translated into Increased Loan Demand posted 02/07/2017

Press Release



Press Release


Barlow Research Press Release - February 7th, 2017

During the month of President Trump’s inauguration, confidence in the U.S. economy reached the highest levels in five years among small businesses and middle market companies, reports Barlow Research. 

According to Barlow Research’s Economic Pulse Survey conducted in the first quarter of 2017, small businesses ($100K-<$10MM) and middle market companies ($10MM-<$500MM) have grown increasingly optimistic about their overall financial condition and the U.S. economy. While many businesses are expecting a prosperous 2017, demand for additional credit will remain limited.

Small businesses and middle market companies are expecting increased sales and profits, which has also led to expectations for increased cash reserves. With businesses being increasingly flush with cash, demand for additional credit has remained relatively stagnant.

“Small businesses and middle market companies are looking confident at the beginning of 2017. It’s encouraging to see such positive metrics, but we don’t expect this to translate into higher credit demand in the near future,” said John Barlow, President, Barlow Research.

Economic Pulse Survey is a quarterly survey established in 2009 to track business recovery from the Great Recession and determine credit demand. The first quarter 2017 survey explores business confidence, credit appetite and outlook following the 2016 election.

Below are some important results:

• 72% of small businesses and 68% of middle market companies felt more optimistic after the 2016 elections.
• Need for bank loans, particularly among small businesses, has continued to trend down.
• Credit approvals increased among the small businesses that have applied for additional credit.

About Barlow Research Associates, Inc.
Barlow Research Associates, Inc. was founded in 1980 to provide research to the financial services industry. With a focus on the business banking segments, Barlow Research provides custom and syndicated solutions to the market research needs of small, medium, and large banks and FinTech providers.

For more information about Barlow Research’s
Economic Pulse Report, and to learn how to add your proprietary question to our next quarterly survey, contact Barlow Research Associates, Inc. (763) 253-1800 or  

Enjoy a complimentary podcast from Barlow Research each quarter covering the latest results of our ongoing Economic Pulse Survey. Find out how business leaders view the state of the economy and their business, as well as their future outlook.

You can follow along with the podcast by downloading the 1st Quarter 2017 Economic Pulse Reports.

  • Quarterly Economic Pulse Reports are part of the deliverables for members of Barlow Research's syndicated research programs. MyBarlow
    • Small Business Banking Program
    • Middle Market Banking Program
    • Digital Business Banking Program
  • For those who are not members of one of our syndicated research programs, the small business and middle market reports are also available for individual purchase.