Thursday, April 23, 2015

UIS Economic Outlook Survey finds Sangamon County businesses are very optimistic about the future

The Spring 2015 Economic Outlook Survey, conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield and The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, finds local businesses and non-profit organizations are very optimistic about doing business in Sangamon County over the next 12 months.

In the past two and a half years, local business expectations have increased 30 points, expectations for their sector have increased 23 points, and expectations for the overall Sangamon County economy have increased 36 points. All three measures indicate strong positive expectations for the economy over the next 12 months.

“The Economic Outlook Survey is a crucial piece to getting a true indicator of how our local employers view the current state of the economy,” said Chris Hembrough, president and CEO of The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. “The overall survey numbers are the best since 2008. The responses we received this spring not only demonstrate a healthy economy, but our employers are feeling better about doing business in Sangamon County than they have in many years.”

Three-fourths of survey respondents report that they expect an increase in their own gross revenue/sales over the next 12 months and 63.9 percent report that they expect an increase in the overall gross revenue/sales in Sangamon County. In addition to positive expectations about their own business and the overall county, local employers also report optimistic projections for almost every industrial sector with the medical/health care sector receiving the most positive expectations.

However, local employers are not without concerns. Four in ten respondents (39.3 percent) report that government regulations and taxes are one of the biggest challenges facing their organization. Other challenges were competition from other businesses, availability of skilled workers, state government finances and employee compensation and benefits.

According to UIS Survey Research Office Director Ashley Kirzinger, local employers have reserved optimism about the local economy.

“While respondents still report that there are significant challenges for local businesses and continue to identify liabilities for doing business in Sangamon County, they are optimistic about the future,” she reports.

The telephone survey of local employers was conducted between March 5, 2015 and March 26, 2015 and includes 249 respondents from the private, public, and non-profit sectors. For more information on the methodology, please visit the UIS Survey Research Office website for the full report.

If you have any questions regarding the survey, please contact Ashley Kirzinger at 217/206-7956 or akirz2@uis.edu.

Labels: , , ,