CHICAGO, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural Cole Taylor Business Owners Confidence Index survey shows Chicago area business leaders making plans for second quarter growth despite apprehension about the local economy.
Respondents, which were surveyed between February 21 and March 12, 2012, rated the U.S. and Chicago economies as being in fair to poor condition, with some optimism for short-term improvement in the local economy. The middle-market business decision makers reported expectations for increased hiring during the second quarter of 2012. In addition, nearly 75% of the companies surveyed reported plans to invest in technology and equipment in the next six months, though other areas of potential capital expenditures appear weak.
Of the 300 businesses surveyed, nearly 80% viewed Illinois economic policy as poor, with 30% of the companies reporting that in the last twelve months they have considered moving their business to another state. The largest group to have considered relocating was manufacturing companies.When asked about the biggest issue facing their companies today, 23% reported that low demand and government and regulatory burdens were the greatest concern. Other major issues facing these companies include finding and retaining skilled workers and the rising cost of raw materials. Highlights
- 47% saw dollar sales volume rise in the first quarter of 2012
- 42% expect to increase hiring, only 6% looking to reduce staffing
- 70% anticipate that their cost of goods will rise over the next three months
- 26% believe that general business conditions will improve in the near term; 69% think that business conditions will be about the same
- 85% of respondents rate the current state of the Chicago economy as fair to poor
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