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middle market

RSM leads middle market conversation in challenging economy

AI. Finance. Labor. Supply chain. These were among the trending topics RSM covered for current and potential clients and the media as the middle market conversation unfolded throughout fiscal 2024.

Our insights and the issues facing midsize businesses gained momentum in a challenging economy characterized by inflation, higher financing and input costs, and continued low unemployment.

Our ongoing focus on developing a team of in-house economic analysts marked its sixth year. The RSM Industry Eminence Program, led by Deputy Chief Economist Kevin Depew, added 11 analysts in fiscal 2024 for a total of 62 participants across the firm’s focus industries, including a growing roster in Canada and the UK. Ten additional analysts were recruited for fiscal 2025. Meanwhile, Sydney-based economist Devika Shivadekar joined RSM’s global economics team, broadening the reach to Australia.

Throughout the year, as concerns of a potential recession loomed, RSM economists maintained a balanced perspective, often defying doom-and-gloom headlines in mainstream media with data-driven analysis. In December, RSM Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas and our economics team were recognized by Bloomberg as among the best forecasters of benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yields for 2023; their analysis underscored an expectation for a soft landing, an expectation that was eventually proven out.

Alongside anchor commentary from Brusuelas and economists Tuan Nguyen (U.S.) and Tu Nguyen (Canada) who both have doctorates in economics, perspectives from the industry analysts offered critical views at the sector level. These insights were pervasive—in quarterly industry outlook reports and other thought leadership; in client, prospect and in-house presentations; in industry association roundtables; and on external webcasts. Journalists took note: the team secured frequent appearances in national print and broadcast media, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Hill, CNN and Yahoo Finance, among others, as well as a long list of trade publications.

The RSM US Middle Market Business Index (MMBI) entered its eighth year, providing a distinctive quarterly reading on the middle market economy from executives across a range of industries. Separate MMBI special reports helped to unpack complex topics such as the financing environment, cybersecurity and workplace trends.

The MMBI, The Real Economy and the Real Economy Canada, the firm’s periodic economic publications, as well as the Real Economy Blog, RSM’s platform for real-time insights on market-driven trends, comprised the firm’s full spectrum of economic insights for the near- and longer-term.  

We also pushed ahead with efforts to spotlight prominent tax issues, such as the treatment of research costs and interest expense deductions, with national lawmakers. In September, our firm’s tax policy and Washington National Tax teams were on Capitol Hill communicating with members of Congress, industry representatives and reporters about how limits on business interest expense deduction were affecting midsize companies. Our thought leaders continue to translate how regulatory developments, such as Securities and Exchange Commission rules governing cybersecurity and climate reporting, affect midsize businesses.

Together, these efforts have enabled RSM to stake its claim as owning the middle market conversation in an increasingly complex economic and policy environment.

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