NEWS7 January 2014

MRA quarterly index points to increased US optimism

Financials News North America

US — The Marketing Research Association’s (MRA) quarterly index on the state of the research industry has seen a small uplift – from 100 to 102 – thanks to an improvement in confidence among executive management.

The latest Research Industry Index (RII), covering the months of July, August and September, found that key metrics – such as the number of RFPs/proposals, projects and booked revenue, and staffing levels – were “almost identical to the previous quarter”.

“However,” the MRA said, “an overall improvement in executive management’s outlook on the health of their organisation nudged the index up. They are more optimistic than they’ve reported for quite some time.”

MRA’s director of research Amy Shields said: “Although the index score is a positive indicator, there is plenty of room for growth in 2014, particularly for smaller firms who appear to still be feeling the pinch of a less-than-perfect economy.”

Indeed, the latest RII found many smaller firms – those with under $1m in annual revenue – were lagging, with 34% reporting decreased levels of RFPs and proposals, and 44% reporting decreased levels of revenue and projects.