According to the latest survey made by PNC Bank, small and midsize businesses in Ohio believe the economy is improving but they are still cautious about it. Only a small number of respondents said they would have plans of hiring.

The findings are the same with the PNC Economic Outlook in October and April. The respondents are optimism about the local economy. 51 percent are moderately optimistic, which is up from 45 percent in October and April 2012.

42 percent are moderately optimistic about the national economy, which is the same as the previous year but up from 36 percent in October. The number of businesses intending to add to their payroll in Ohio is 14 percent, which is the same in the previous surveys. 8 percent of businesses expect to reduce hiring. In April 2012, 15 percent expected to hire and 5 percent expected to make lesser job offers. In October, 17 percent intended to hire and 10 percent expected to decrease hiring.

The numbers in Ohio are based on a national survey of 1,178 businesses surveyed between January 23 and February 15. Ohio interviews are 152 of the total survey. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 8 percentage points.

Some of the businesses in Ohio that participated in the survey are upbeat about hiring. One of them is Matt Knecht, president of HzW Environment Consultants LLC. He said that he is going to expand his staff from 29 to 31. This is his first expansion in five years. He said that hiring he has done in recent years has been done to replace workers who left the company.

His company is involved in environmental testing and other analysis in the commercial sector. He said that the increased activities of his company suggest the improvement of the economy.

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