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Businesses growing despite uncertainty; financial security concerns employees, Principal survey finds

Pulse survey on bank failures finds financial stability among businesses


The latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index survey shows businesses are reporting high levels of growth despite recent uncertainty, but employees are also concerned about their personal finances over the next six months.

Principal also conducted an additional pulse survey during the last week of March following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank to see if responses had changed from the data collected in February. Businesses shared concerns about the fallout from the bank failures but reported they were financially stable.

Businesses of different sizes anticipate continued growth, with 76% expecting their financials to improve within the next year. Over two-thirds of small businesses (69%) and 86% of large businesses expect their financials to improve over the next year.

“Businesses continue to navigate roadblocks, including inflation, a challenging labor market, and most recently bank failures, seemingly with agility,” Amy Friedrich, president of benefits and protection at Principal, said in a prepared statement. “They have shown steady growth through recent events and are using the muscles they’ve built to navigate and quickly respond to the uncertainties coming their way.”

Employers’ top concerns according to the survey are inflation, higher taxes, a potential recession and, since the March bank failures, the U.S. economy’s stability. More than 50% of respondents were concerned about the domestic economy and 45% said they were concerned about the global financial system. Concern is heightened among those using a small retail bank.

Businesses of all sizes have taken steps to mitigate risk by examining the financial stability of their current bank (32%), collecting outstanding debt (28%), and distributing account balances below the FDIC insured amount (21%) – this action is most common among businesses that use small retail banks (32%).

Employees’ top concerns reported in the survey are inflation and reaching or maintaining personal financial security. More than 80% of employers agree workplace benefits are an important tool to help support employees’ personal finances. Employees identified benefits such as health care, retirement and paid time off as the most important to help reach financial security.

The full results of the Well-Being Index are available at this link, and the results of the bank pulse survey are available at this link.

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