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B U S I N E S S P U L S E©

CEO confidence in NEWi perceptions of the general economy.


continued to decline at the end At the end of the Q4/06, 29% felt
of the first quarter of 2007. The the general economic conditions
decline in the overall business had improved and 10% indicated
pulse index reflects both a drop that conditions had declined for a
in the current economic conditions net positive balance of 19 points.
as well as lower confidence in However, by the end of Q1/07 the
future economic conditions. net balance of positive to negative
CEOs The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse©
views of general economic conditions
had essentially disappeared with 26%
dropped to 108.0 at the end of
Uneasy Q1/07 – down from 114.8 at the
saying general economic conditions
had gotten better while 25% saying
end of Q4/06. (The Pulse© reached
worse for a net positive balance of 1%.
About its highest point in Q4/03 when it
finished the year at 137.4. Its low
T 3 Months CEOs
PAST 3 Months CEOs say:
was Q4/01 (93.9) – the quarter
Conditions following 9.11.01.)
say:
General Economy
26% Better | 25% Worse
The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse©
measures Current Economic Industry Economy
Conditions compared to three 25% Better | 24% Worse
months ago - as well as Future Revenues
Economic Expectations of business 50% Increase | 26% Decrease
leaders over the next three months.
Profits
The Current Economic Index and
45% Increase | 27% Decrease
The Future Expectations Index are
then combined into the overall Capital Spending
Business Pulse Index. Scores higher 22% Increase | 27% Decrease
than 100 indicate more positive Employment
than negative responses; scores 24% Increase | 16% Decrease
lower than 100 indicate more
negative than positive responses.
The Current Conditions Index fell
Future Expectations
to 104.6 at the end of Q1/07 from Optimism regarding the economic
110.0 at the end of Q4/06. The future also declined at the end of
Future Expectations Index dropped Q1/07. The Future Expectations Index
as well down to 111.3 at the end slid down from 119.5 at the end of
of Q1/07 from 116.9 in Q4/06. Q4/06 - to the current measure of
111.3. (The low point for The Future
Current Conditions Expectations Index was 105.4 in
Q4/01 following the terrorist attacks
The Current Conditions Index
on 9.11.)
decreased from 110.0 in Q4/06 to
104.6 at the end of Q1/07. The most continued on back
significant change from Q4/06 is in
Executive Summary:
Data Collected in May 2007

“I’m not getting information; I'm not managing.”


John Torinus, President & CEO — Serigraph, Inc
continued from front 47 to 49 and the future expectation 1% not sure. At the end of Q4/06,
index nudged up from 50 to 53. 38% indicated they were bullish
The Future Expectations Index
(The Conference Board Measure is and 5% bearish. The Nicolet Bank
peaked in Q4/03 at 147.4. The
based on interviews of 100 CEOs Business Pulse© also asked how
most significant changes in the
nationally; a score of 50 on the CEOs would invest $100,000 of
future expectations also came in
Conference Board Measure of their own money if they could
the perceptions of the general
Business Confidence indicates the invest it today. CEOs would put
economy. In Q4/06 32% felt
same percentage of Positive and about $45,000 in stocks, $26,000
general economic conditions had
Negative responses. Hence, the in real estate, $17,000 in money
improved while 10% felt they had
Conference Board measure is market, $9,000 in bonds and
declined for a net positive balance
similar to The Nicolet Bank $3,000 in Treasury bills. Top stock
of 22%. In Q1/07, 24% say general
Business Pulse© where a score of picks included: Exxon-Mobil,
economic conditions have
100 means an equal percentage General Electric, Microsoft,
improved and 19% indicate they
of Positives and Negatives,) and Proctor & Gamble.
have worsened for a net positive
value of only 5%. The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse
and the Conference Board Summary
NEXT 3 Months CEOs see: measures are usually mirrored
General Economy images. However, over the last two CEOs and Business Owners in
24% Better | 19% Worse quarters The Nicolet Bank Business NEWi continue to have a sense
Pulse has declined slightly, while of uneasiness about economic
Industry Economy
28% Better | 14% Worse the Conference Board CEO conditions. From 2003 to 2004, the
measure has improved slightly. Current Conditions Index averaged
Revenues 119.0, while from 2005 to the
46% Increase | 15% Decrease In terms of how consumers see present the average declined to
things, the Conference Board 108.9. The drop in the average
Profits
measure of consumer confidence Future Expectations Index over the
45% Increase | 23% Decrease
continued to decline from 109.0 in same time frame has been even
Capital Spending Q4/06 to 104 at the end of Q1/07. more dramatic, declining from 135.9
21% Increase | 21% Decrease The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse© to 114.7. It is apparent that CEOs
Employment Consumer Confidence Study have settled into an era of economic
conducted statewide in September uneasiness in which the 600 pound
26% Increase | 9% Decrease
2006 is available at: gorilla in every board room and
http://pulse.nicoletbank.com/ CEO office is the unsettling
nicoletbankpulse/nnb+business+ thought that the economic world
National Comparisons pulse/executive+summaries/2006/ could change dramatically and
Nationally, CEO evaluations in quickly with one significant terrorist
the first quarter continued to Investments event. Layered on top of that
improve slightly according to Although “bullishness” among threat are the ongoing concerns
The Conference Board Measure CEOs is down from Q4, CEOs of growing international tensions,
of Business Confidence released continue to be somewhat more globalization and the rising costs of
April 2007. The Conference Board bullish than bearish on personal health care and energy. All of these
Measure rose to 53 in Q1/07 investments and money factors contribute to the uneasiness
from 50 in Q4. management: 26% say they are that the business community
The current condition index for bullish and 13% say they are appears to be feeling.
CEOs nationally increased from bearish with 60% neutral and

How the Survey is conducted


The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse© is a Quarterly Study of CEOs in NE Wisconsin (Brown,
Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Winnebago
Counties). It is designed and implemented by IntellectualMarketing, LLC.
Participants include: 28% in manufacturing; 25% in services; 19% retail trade; 5% wholesale trade;
6% finance, real estate, insurance; 5% in transportation, communications, utilities; 6% in construction;
7% in other industries. 16% have fewer than 6 employees; 33% have 6-25; 19% have 26-50;
6% 51-100; 18% 101-250; 2% 251-500; 3% 501-1,000; 2% have 1,001 or more.
Questions to Dr. David G. Wegge (920) 217-7738; david@intellectualmarketing.com