Q1 2022 Middle Market Business Index

Inflation and omicron dampen business confidence

The omicron variant and rising prices have taken a toll on both overall economic activity and consumer and business confidence over the past three months, according to the latest proprietary RSM US Middle Market Business Index. The top-line middle market business index eased to 125.1 in the first quarter of the year from 130 in the final quarter of last year. Both of those figures were below the all-time high of 143.8 posted in the third quarter of last year.

Despite the decline in the overall index, the current reading reflects strong business conditions across the real economy. However, the sampling period occurred prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing price shocks, which we expect will dampen business conditions in the second quarter of the year.

Additional findings

Similar to the views on the economy, sentiment on revenues and margins soured on capital expenditures in the current quarter:



of respondents indicated an increase in outlays on capital expenditures.



expect an increase in outlays going forward.



reported increasing hiring and 48% increased compensation.

The report also included initial findings on middle market cybersecurity concerns. 

Slightly fewer middle market executives reported that their companies experienced a data breach in the last 12 months—22% compared to 28% last year.

However, more organizations than ever (72%) believe unauthorized users will deliberately and illegally attempt to access their data or systems this year. 

Look for our full special report on this topic in June. 

More special reports based on our proprietary MMBI research


In partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we've collected data on middle market firms since 2015 through quarterly surveys conducted by The Harris Poll. 

The RSM US Middle Market Business Index provides a leading measure on the performance of businesses that make up the heart and soul of our country's economy.

The Real Economy

Monthly economic report

A monthly economic report for middle market business leaders.

Industry outlooks

Industry-specific quarterly insights for the middle market.