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VOL. 128 | NO. 125 | Thursday, June 27, 2013

Economic Survey Seeks Input From Memphis Businesses

By Andy Meek

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With the second quarter drawing to a close, The Daily News is encouraging members of the Memphis business community to take part in a new feature intended to be a forward-looking measure of business sentiment.

The Daily News has teamed up with Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, the largest CPA firm based in the South, to launch a six-question online survey called the Memphis Economic Indicator. Its results will be used to complement the snapshots of business activity the newspaper publishes each quarter.

The survey is live at www.memphiseconomicindicator.com. Dixon Hughes is helping gather the forecasts, and The Daily News will combine that with the quarterly reports the paper regularly publishes that analyze everything from business license activity to home sales data with the goal of providing a comprehensive analysis of the Memphis-area economy.

BARNES

Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News, said the sentiments of business people who respond to the survey will shed new light on the detailed data the newspaper has long published.

The Daily News’ quarterly reports provide a data-centric look backwards and also suggest patterns going forward. The new survey, meanwhile, is intended to tap into the mood of the business community today as well as how it’s feeling about tomorrow.

To get a flavor of the project, the first question asks whether over the next quarter the survey-taker expects to see increased staff. The respondent answers by clicking a bubble associated with a range between one and 10, with one being “not at all confident” and 10 being “very confident.”

Other survey questions seek to determine whether participants expect to see increased revenue, an increase in profit margin, an increase in expenses, and whether they think the overall economic position of both their company and Memphis as a whole will improve.

The general survey information participants provide will only be used for reporting purposes, and no identifying participant or company information will be published.

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 124 481 17,865
MORTGAGES 127 530 20,565
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 4 48 2,693
BUILDING PERMITS 195 891 36,836
BANKRUPTCIES 52 262 11,426
BUSINESS LICENSES 24 139 5,848
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 26 116 6,830
MARRIAGE LICENSES 26 133 4,049