Business Optimism Returns to Normal
Optimism has returned to “normal levels,” according to the second quarter edition of the Georgia CEO Business Confidence Survey. The first quarter results were record breaking, with business optimism fueled by a strong economy and the prospective impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in December 2017.
Quarter 2 survey results remain optimistic, but declined 8 to 10 percent across most of the study metrics. Year over year comparisons with 2017 indicate steady confidence in all areas except hiring and employment. Business respondents are concerned about tight labor markets and the difficulty of finding skilled workers. There is also some increased concern about political conditions, particularly the prospects for a trade war ensuing from the administration’s hard-line approach and tariff proposals.
The report indicates positive Q1 results across a range of business metrics. Over 50 percent of respondents reported increased volume of business and sales during the first quarter. Reported hiring, employment, financial health, profitability, and access to capital responses continue to indicate a healthy business climate. Year over year profitability expectations remain strong – positive sentiment was up 7 percent from the previous year.
The quarterly confidence survey is conducted by Georgia CEO in conjunction with Georgia Southern’s Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER).