November 20, 2017

Survey shows mixed business conditions in CT

More Connecticut businesses are reporting a mix of improving and worsening conditions for the third quarter, according to a survey released Monday by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents see improved conditions for their firm, up from 29 percent in the second quarter, according to the CBIA's 2017 Third Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey.

Yet, 24 percent predict worsening conditions, a 10-point jump from the last quarterly survey. Forty-percent forecast stable conditions, down from 57 percent.

The survey was conducted in early August and mid-October and 119 business owners responded.

"We found that several respondent groups are outperforming the norm on growth for their firms over the next three months," CBIA economist Pete Gioia said. "They just need to find skilled talent to replace retiring workers."

Gioia noted that manufacturers were particularly bullish, with 43 percent reporting an optimistic outlook against just 20 percent with a pessimistic forecast.

Nonetheless, overall hiring remains sluggish with 21 percent of companies expecting to grow their workforce, down from 23 percent in the previous quarter.

The percentage of firms expecting to shrink their workforce increased by five percentage points to 17 percent in the third quarter, while 63 percent see no change, a drop of three percentage points.

"The survey finds steady, but modest growth for Connecticut businesses," Gioia said.

Credit availability is not a problem for 88 percent of survey respondents.

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