Mobile Metro Area Report

Alabama Business Confidence Index™

Second Quarter 2021

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Return of Strong Business Confidence in Q2 2021

After a year of uncertainty, business leaders in Mobile are feeling strongly optimistic about growth in the second quarter 2021 ABCI survey. The metro’s ABCI registered at a strongly confident 64.6 this quarter, an increase of 9.6 points from Q1 2021. Mobile’s ABCI was negative in Q2 and Q3 of 2020, as the country was first navigating the COVID-19. Now, a year later, panelists are feeling strongly confident forecasting improved conditions for five out of the six survey categories in Q2 2021.

Second Quarter 2021 Outlook

Mobile Statewide
ABCI 64.6 64.3
Alabama Economy 68.1 70.7
US Economy 65.3 63.6
Industry Sales 69.4 68.4
Industry Profits 65.3 61.3
Industry Hiring 58.3 62.3
Industry Capital Expenditures 61.1 59.7

Index above 50 indicates positive outlook as compared to last quarter.
Index below 50 indicates negative outlook compared to last quarter.

Mobile Component Index Analysis

  • Alabama Economy: The Alabama outlook index increased 18.1 points to reach 68.1 this quarter, indicating very strong confidence in improved statewide economic conditions compared to the previous quarter.
  • US Economy: Panelists in Mobile are anticipating an improvement of last quarter’s conditions in the national economy with a strongly positive index of 65.3. This index is 17.0 points above the Q1 2021 U.S. outlook.
  • Industry Sales: Business leaders in Mobile are forecasting an increase in sales this quarter with the most confident component index of 69.4. This is a 6.1-point increase from Q1 2021’s strongly confident index and signals that Mobile business leaders continue to expect sales to increase in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Industry Profits: Metro panelists are anticipating increased levels of profits this quarter with a very confident index of 65.3, an increase of 10.3 points from Q1 2021.
  • Industry Hiring: After decreasing 1.7 points to register at 58.3 Mobile business leaders are forecasting increased hiring in Q2 2021 compared to Q1 2021 with moderate confidence.
  • Industry Capital Expenditures: With a strongly positive index of 61.1 after a 7.8-point increase from the previous quarter, Mobile business leaders are expecting to increase their capital expenditures compared to Q1 2021.

 

Mobile Response Breakdown

Historical Mobile ABCI™ and Industry Component Indexes

ABCI Mobile in Context

In the Q2 2021 survey, Mobile’s ABCI reached pre-COVID-19 levels of confidence. Before Q2 2020, the metro had a 28-quarter streak of positive ABCIs, indicating sustained expectations for growth. After dipping below 50 twice in 2020, business confidence showed tentative signs of recovery in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021 with neutral and moderately positive indexes. Things are looking even more favorable this quarter, with business leaders expressing strong confidence in their positive forecast for Q2 2021 compared to the previous quarter.

Confidence soared across the state in the Q2 2021 survey with all metro ABCIs registering above 63. Business confidence was highest in Tuscaloosa with an ABCI of 65.6, followed closely by Birmingham-Hoover at 65.5. Mobile’s ABCI reached 64.6 this quarter while Huntsville and Montgomery both had ABCIs of 63.8 for the quarter. All of the metros communicated incredibly favorable forecasts for all of the component indexes but especially the Alabama economic outlook and the industry sales index.

ABCI™ by Metro Area

Mobile ABCI™ Compared to Statewide ABCI™

 

The Center for Business and Economic Research would like to thank the Alabama business executives who completed the second quarter 2021 ABCI™ survey. This is the 78th consecutive quarter this report has been recorded, and it would not have been possible without your participation.
Be sure to log in during the June 1–15 survey window to record your opinions about economic prospects and industry performance looking ahead to the third quarter of 2021.

 

  &  Logo of the Birmingham Business Alliance

This report was produced in partnership between the Center for Business and Economic Research at the The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business and the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

Analysis provided by Susannah Robichaux, Socioeconomic Analyst, Center for Business and Economic Research, Culverhouse College of Business, The University of Alabama.

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