C-Suite survey shows improved attitudes toward state business climate

Could it be that the glass is no longer half empty?

N.J. CEOs say the state’s business climate has improved significantly over the last 18 months, according to the New Jersey Economic Policy Summit’s latest “C-Suite Survey.”

The results, released today at an economic conference at Rutgers University, show that 75 percent of those who responded believe that state government under Gov. Christie has become more responsive to the needs of the business community over the last half year.

Seventy-two percent rated the state’s economy as fair or good. Those figures are up from 35 and 34 percent, respectively, from the previous survey conducted in the fall of 2009.

“While the results also show that New Jersey still is viewed as having a long way to go in terms of its tax structure and regulatory environment as compared to other states, attitudes clearly have gotten better,” said James Hughes, dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, which conducted the survey.

The findings include other upbeat assessments.

Forty-two percent of respondents – the highest percentage since the survey began in fall 2007 – reported that they believe New Jersey’s economy has improved during the past 12 months, while only 8 percent – the lowest percentage ever – reported that they think the economy has worsened.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents – also the highest percentage ever – believe the New Jersey economy will get better over the next 12 months, while 11 percent feel it will get worse.

Thirty-two percent expect to increase their number of N.J.-based workers, up from 15 percent in the last survey.

Thirty-one percent plan to increase capital spending, up from 19 percent.

Seventy-four percent expect revenue to increase, up from 64 percent in the last survey.

Fifteen percent expect to increase space utilization, up from 5 percent in the last survey. C-Suite survey shows improved attitudes toward state business climate