RSM US LLP, the firm formerly known as McGladrey, has begun compiling an index of middle-market business performance, in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics.

The RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI) aims to reflect business conditions for U.S. businesses in the middle market, while providing a statistical measure of the health and outlook for such businesses. The middle-market segment of the U.S. economy represents more than 200,000 companies, 40 million jobs and one-third of private sector gross receipts, according to RSM.

“Until now, there has been no comprehensive index for the middle market, which is astounding, given the critical role it plays in producing the goods and services that fuel the U.S. economy,” said RSM US LLP managing partner and CEO Joe Adams in a statement. “Our investment in the RSM US Middle Market Business Index reflects our steadfast commitment to the middle market and our belief that a deeper understanding of these businesses by policymakers and the broader business community will lead to positive outcomes for the entire economy.”

The inaugural edition of the index puts U.S. middle market business conditions at 116.6 in the first quarter of 2016, a 1.4 percent uptick from the fourth quarter of 2015.

To compile the index, RSM and Moody’s conducted five quarters of primary research and analysis via quarterly surveys of RSM’s Middle Market Leadership Council, a panel of 700 middle-market executives managed by Nielsen. The MMBI is based on a subset of 20 questions from these surveys aimed at measuring changes in key performance indicators such as revenues, profits, capital expenditures, hiring, employee compensation, prices received, prices paid and inventories, as well as questions on general economic sentiment and corporate financing. RSM began surveying the middle market in the second quarter of 2015 to develop the MMBI and hopes the index will become a leading indicator for hiring, revenues and productivity once more data is collected.

“The RSM US Middle Market Business Index provides a critical and never-before-seen view into the past, present and future of the real economy,” said RSM chief economist Joe Brusuelas. “We’re seeing a market segment that’s optimistic about the direction of the real economy and a more confident U.S. consumer. What’s more, MMBI data and other research indicate that the major U.S equity indices no longer provide a comprehensive picture of real economic activity in the United States.”  

RSM plans to publish updated MMBI data on a quarterly basis and use the data and insights from each report to advise middle market leaders on a range of important business and growth initiatives. For more information, visit www.rsmus.com/mmbi. A comprehensive report on other business issues about which RSM has queried the panel over the last five quarters will be coming out in April.

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