Connecticut businesses kept cautious outlook during the first quarter, according to the latest CBIA/Farmington Bank Economic and Credit Availability Survey. Thirty-seven percent of business leaders polled for this survey forecasted improved conditions for their companies over the next three months, down from 40 percent the previous quarter.
However, 47 percent of respondents expected stable conditions – up from 39 percent in the fourth quarter – while 16 percent admitted to a pessimistic outlook, down from 21 percent. The near-future hiring outlook was equally mixed: 26 percent of respondents expected to increase their workforce (up from 24 percent in the previous quarter) while 8 percent planned staff reductions (down from 11 percent) and 66 percent forecast no change (up from 65 percent) and 8 percent plan reductions (down from 11 percent).
On the subject of credit availability, there was mostly positive feedback: 86 percent reported that this was not a problem for them, while 76 percent said they would characterize Connecticut’s current credit conditions as excellent, good or average.
“This survey shows that credit availability is on track to support economic growth, but businesses are still somewhat hesitant to invest, likely due, at least in part, to Connecticut’s fiscal crisis,” said CBIA economist Pete Gioia. “It’s still imperative that a solid, predictable state budget is adopted to rebuild the confidence for businesses to create investments that lead to jobs and economic growth. The two are intertwined.”
The survey was conducted via email in late April and early May with 134 total responses. It has an 8.5 percent plus or minus margin of error.