As Small Businesses' Confidence Rises, So May Wages

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Main Street plans to boost wages and raise prices, a new survey shows. More small- and mid-sized U.S. business owners plan to raise salaries, according to the fall PNC Economic Outlook Survey findings, released Thursday. About 38 percent of business owners surveyed said they expect to increase employee compensation in the next six months—the most since 2008, when the financial crisis struck.

The survey also found 38 percent of business owners surveyed plan to hike prices during the next year. While some of that strategy can be attributed to hedging against anticipated higher costs that include health care, the price hike is also about optimism. "Some of this is health-care cost related, but they also feel business is improving," PNC's Chief Economist Stuart Hoffman told CNBC. "They are also planning on pay raises, so their labor costs will also go up." Besides cost pressures, Hoffman said small companies overall feel demand and the economy are improving, so they can afford to raise prices without losing business.


-- Kate Rogers, CNBC