Business owners expect increased sales, hiring, in next six monthe, says survey

Increased retail statistics are expected to increase in the coming months by many business owners Jobless workers who have been forced to deal with financial hardships and debt consolidation throughout the recession are nonetheless on their way to increasing their spending this year, and may see more job offers because of it.

According to a new Economic Outlook released Thursday by PNC Financial Services Group, 47 percent of business owners anticipate an increase in sales during the next six months. The figure was a slight increase over the 40 percent who felt the same way last Fall, and was notably higher than the record-low 26 percent who said so one year earlier.

Partly due to the increased sales, 22 percent of owners also said they expected to increase the number of full-time employees at their place of business in the next six months, well above the 17 percent who felt the same way last fall and the 12 percent who did one year ago.

"These findings support PNC’s forecast that the U.S. economy’s ongoing ‘half-speed’ recovery will be sustained throughout 2010 and beyond," said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC. "The missing ingredient in the recovery recipe is private sector job growth. We expect it to soon be baked into the mix, which will make the recovery more satisfying."

The manufacturing industry led the way when it came to anticipated hiring, with 29 percent of owners in the sector saying they would hire full-time employees.