About 81 percent of state business owners predict strong U.S. economic growth but only 18 percent forecast it for Connecticut, according to a survey released Thursday by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association.
However, more than half of the business owners survey are worried about potential negative impact of federal tariffs and trade disputes, with steel and aluminum leveies driving heightened concern among manufactureres.
The CBIA 2018 Survey of Connecticut Businesses also found that 81 percent of respondents disapprove of the legislature’s handling of the economy and job creation, while 14 percent were neutral and just 5 percent approve. It also showed that 71 percent of respondents will vote on economic issues more so than in previous elections.
“Unfortunately, business leaders feel not enough lawmakers take the state’s challenges seriously,” CBIA president and CEO Joe Brennan stated in a press release announcing the results. “They want change and an aggressive, sustained focus on driving economic growth and job creation.”
The survey also revealed that more than two-thirds of the business owners reported profits in 2017, an increase over last year and 73 percent forecast a profitable 2018.
CBIA and the public accounting and business advisory firm Marcum LLP mailed the survey to 6,400 top executives throughtout Connecticut, 313 participated. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.6 percent.
“Connecticut companies continue to see growth, which is a positive, but at a rate that is lower than the national average, and significantly lower than some of our direct neighbors,” said Marcum LLP office managing partner Michael Brooder. “Uncertainty at the state level plays a large part and will continue to leave the state in flux until it is corrected.”
Forty-four percent said federal tax reform will have a positive impact on their business, and 63 percent predicted it will help the U.S. economy overall.
Of those companies that reported they were positively impacted by last year’s tax overhaul, 48 percent increased employee salaries and/or benefits, 37 percent expanded their facilities, 31 percent increased hiring, and 26 percent added employee training programs.