CBIA survey: Businesses taking ‘wait and see’ approach to economy

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Nearly half of Connecticut business leaders expect unchanged conditions for their companies, according to the 2016 Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA)/Farmington Bank 2nd Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey.

While 49 percent said they expected conditions to remain the same from the first quarter, 35 percent said conditions would improve, a 5 percent increase from the first quarter survey, while 17 percent said they expected their firm’s outlook to decline, down from the previous quarter’s 19 percent.

As for workforce size, 32 percent said they expected it to increase, up from 29 percent in the first quarter; 53 percent expected no changes, compared with 58 percent in the prior quarter; and 14 percent said they would eliminate positions, down from 15 percent in the first quarter.

More than two-thirds of surveyed business leaders, 69 percent, plan capital investments, mainly in environmental compliance (44 percent), facilities (41 percent), hiring (40 percent), and security (35 percent).

“These findings reflect the trends we saw in the state’s economy during mid- to late summer, when we had modest job growth,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “There’s a slight uptick in optimism, but the majority of surveyed businesses are still adopting a wait-and-see attitude about the future.”

The survey was emailed to 1,800 Connecticut business leaders in September. A total of 117 responded, for an estimated response rate of 6.5  percent, with a margin of error of +/- 9.2 percent.

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