New Jersey’s business leaders are less confident in the state’s economy and business climate than they have been in more than a decade, according to a survey released Tuesday by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.
“In the midst of an apparent economic slowdown, our members see more of the same ahead: very slow growth,” said association President Philip Kirschner.
The annual survey of the group’s 1,700 members shows that 51 percent of respondents felt the state’s economic conditions would deteriorate in the first half of the year; only 12 percent of respondents expected things to get better in early 2007.
Respondents also gave the state low marks as a place to expand or renovate business facilities; only 17 percent of respondents described the Garden State as a good place for renovation or expansion compared to 28 percent in the association’s previous three surveys.
When it came to the state government’s performance, employers gave New Jersey low marks for its ability to control health insurance costs and government spending and taxes.
From the New Jersey Business & Industry Association:
Amid evidence of a weakening economy, business confidence in the State economy and the State’s business climate has fallen to the lowest levels since the early 1990s, the New Jersey Business & Industry Association’s 2007 Business Outlook Survey has found.
While employers as a group have voiced growing concern about the near-term economic outlook at all levels—from the US economy to their own companies—their bleakest assessment is reserved for the New Jersey economy.
Kirschner noted that this year’s decline in confidence follows a sharp loss of confidence found in last year’s 2006 Business Outlook survey. That survey uncovered one of the most dramatic shifts from optimism to pessimism for the state and national economies in 22 years of survey data.
“In hindsight, it is apparent that our members sensed the onset of the economic slowdown that now confronts us,” Kirschner said.