Fed study shows Springfield businesses are generally optimistic
Businesses in the Springfield area are generally optimistic according to results from a recent Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis survey. On June 29, regional economist Charles Gascon discussed themes from the survey of more than 100 area businesses, as well as highlights from the Fed's economic analysis of the region. Below are some highlights from the study as well as a link to the Fed's metro profile for Springfield and the survey results.
- Despite a slow first quarter, the outlook remained positive; 68 percent of respondents anticipate local economic conditions to improve throughout the year.
- The five most common factors affecting hiring decisions were sales and business growth, long-term economic conditions, health care costs, availability of qualified workers, and regulation.
- The long term dominates hiring decisions, with many contacts recognizing they have refrained from short-term hiring due to economic and regulatory uncertainty.
- In 42 percent of responses, improved general economic conditions was cited as the most frequent factor shaping the outlook for businesses.
- Regulation and taxes were cited as the most likely to hinder business growth in the months ahead. Few contacts specified particular regulatory issues.
- Businesses expected employment growth to continue but did note that the area’s lower unemployment rate may make it more difficult to find workers.