Buoyed by optimism about President Donald Trump's promise to roll back labor regulations as well as positive consumer spending trends, a new report finds the franchising industry is set to grow for the seventh consecutive year.
The International Franchise Association reports the industry is poised to expand by 1.6 percent in 2017, slightly behind last year's 1.7 percent growth, to a total of 744,437. That's an increase of some 11,500 establishments.
Employment is set to expand by 3.3 percent to 7.8 million workers, adding 250,000 new jobs, according to the group's annual Franchise Business Economic Outlook report. And the GDP of the industry is set to increase by 5.2 percent to an estimated $426 billion from last year's $405 billion.
Prior data sets from 2013 through 2015 were revised by IHS based on new data from the 2012 Census, among other sources, and past years' estimates have been adjusted from that baseline.
"We expect to post robust numbers this year, but these projections will depend on the overall legislative environment," says Robert Cresanti, president and CEO of the industry's largest trade group. "We have an incredible number of regulations that are just coming to roost in the industry, everything from overtime rules to the effects of Obamacare.
"There's still a lot of digesting going on."