February 13, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 12:33 pm

CT Inc.'s economic outlook improves

Connecticut business owners and managers are feeling better about the outlook for their operations and the state and national economy than three months ago, a new survey shows.

The Connecticut Business & Industry's Fourth Quarter 2011 Economic Survey found that businesses were more optimistic in the fourth quarter than they were in the third quarter of last year.

"The fourth quarter survey was a welcome change to the results of our third quarter report," says CBIA economist Pete Gioia. "While too early to determine a trend, the survey shows optimism for growth on par with a steady economic recovery."

The survey found 46 percent of the 216 business managers who answered the January survey see their own firm improving over the next three months, with only 14 percent expecting a worsening.

In the third quarter survey, only 29 percent of respondents saw the potential of improvement and 28 percent instead saw the potential that their firm would worsen.

The survey also saw executives expecting more growth nationally first, then locally. Thirty-seven percent of respondents expect the U.S. economy to improve, while 19 percent expect further worsening.

Although still better than last quarter, expectations at the state level are weaker. Twenty-three percent of respondents see the state economy improving while 34% expect continued deterioration.

Other survey findings:

47 percent expected increased production and sales for the next quarter, up from 35 percent in the third quarter

46 percent of respondents see future gains in productivity and wages

23 percent expect to add workers and 13 percent expect to decrease workers over the next quarter, compared to only 16 percent saying they expected to add last quarter and 22 percent who expected to cut jobs.

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