Mobile Metro Area Report

Alabama Business Confidence Index™

Second Quarter 2024

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Mobile Forecasts Expansion with Mild Confidence in Q2 2024

Mobile’s ABCI registered at a mildly expansionary 52.8 in the Q2 2024 survey. Area business leaders are forecasting growth in four of the six component indexes, with especially high indexes for industry sales and profits. Mobile’s expectations for the US economy remain low, with the index communicating moderate confidence in their contractionary forecast. Metro panelists are anticipating a continuation of last quarter’s levels of hiring in Q2 2024 with a neutral index of 50.

Second Quarter 2024 Outlook

Mobile Statewide
ABCI 52.8 54.1
Alabama Economy 53.3 53.9
US Economy 43.3 46.7
Industry Sales 58.3 61.0
Industry Profits 56.7 55.9
Industry Hiring 50.0 54.0
Industry Capital Expenditures 55.0 52.9

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: Mobile business leaders are anticipating improved conditions in the Alabama economy with a mildly expansionary index of 53.3.
  • US Economy: The US economic outlook remained contractionary this quarter with a moderately negative index of 43.3. This component index has been Mobile’s lowest index since Q3 2021 and has been consistently contractionary since Q2 2022.
  • Industry Sales: This quarter, the sales index was the metro’s highest component index at a moderately confident 58.3. Just over half of Mobile panelists (53.3 percent) are expecting their sales to increase in Q2 2024 compared to last quarter.
  • Industry Profits: With a Q2 2024 index of 56.7, metro panelists are forecasting increased industry profits compared to last quarter’s levels with moderate confidence.
  • Industry Hiring: Since Q4 2021, Mobile’s hiring index has fluctuated from very strongly expansionary to mildly contractionary, but it has been either the highest or second highest component index. In the Q2 2024 survey, it is the lowest industry component index at a neutral 50 as panelists anticipate a continuation of last quarter’s hiring levels in the coming quarter.
  • Industry Capital Expenditures: Mobile panelists expect an increase of last quarter’s levels of capital expenditure with a moderately confident index of 55.0.

 

Mobile Response Breakdown

Historical Mobile ABCI™ and Industry Component Indexes

Historical Mobile ABCI™ and Economic Outlook Component Indexes

ABCI Mobile in Context

Mobile business leaders are anticipating overall economic growth in Q2 2024 for the first time since Q2 2022. The ABCI was contractionary in Q3 2022 and for the entirety of 2023, though the level of confidence in those forecasts fluctuated from moderate to mild. During that time, Mobile panelists consistently had contractionary indexes for the US economy and capital expenditures but the forecasts for the Alabama economy and the other three industry indexes had more variation, ranging from moderately contractionary to moderately expansionary. Data for Mobile’s Q1 2024 and Q4 2022 forecasts are not available due to insufficient participation.

Business confidence across Alabama’s metro areas is mostly positive in Q2 2024, with business leaders in all but Montgomery forecasting growth compared to the previous quarter. Tuscaloosa had the highest metro ABCI with a moderately confident 57.1, followed closely by Huntsville with 55.1. Panelists in Birmingham–Hoover and Mobile had mildly confident expansionary forecasts of 53.5 and 52.8, respectively. Montgomery, who had the highest MSA ABCI last quarter at a mildly positive 51.9, dropped almost 6 points to a mildly negative index of 46.1.

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 2024 ABCI™ survey. This is the 90th 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 2024.

 

  &  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.