The Daily News has teamed up with one of the largest CPA firms based in the Southeast to launch a new feature that will complement the data-focused snapshots of business activity the newspaper publishes each quarter.
It’s called the Memphis Economic Indicator, a product of The Daily News and Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, and its centerpiece is a six-question online survey area business leaders are invited to complete.
The survey is now live – at www.memphiseconomicindicator.com – and is intended to be a forward-looking subjective measure of business sentiment.
For example, 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.”
Dixon Hughes is helping gather the forecasts, and The Daily News will combine that with the quarterly reports the paper regularly publishes relating to everything from business license activity to home sales data to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Memphis-area economy.
“We think the balance of objective data and subjective opinions of business people is critical,” said Eric Barnes, publisher of The Daily News. “For us, the sentiments of the business people who respond to the survey will shed new light on the detailed data we’ve long published.”
The Daily News’ quarterly reports provide a data-centric look backwards and also suggest, but don’t necessarily define, 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.
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.
Anthony Clark, managing partner of Dixon Hughes’ Memphis office, said the idea was to design the survey so that the entire process is simple and brief.
“We’re excited to be collaborating with The Daily News to create this Memphis Economic Indicator, which we believe is a new tool that will be very beneficial to our local business community,” Clark said. “This will combine forecasts of Memphis business leadership gathered by our firm with some measurable trends and data compiled by The Daily News to create a thoughtful analysis for our region about economic expectations near-term and long-term. The most important element in the project is the knowledgeable and candid participation of local business leaders who participate in the survey.”
Dixon Hughes Goodman has more than 1,800 professionals throughout the region who provide accounting and advisory services grounded in the firm’s 80-plus years of experience.
Since its founding in 1886, The Daily News has served as the Memphis metro area’s source for daily news and information on business and commerce.