NJBIA Survey: business outlook improving

TRENTON – Businesses are feeling more optimistic about the state’s economy and business climate, with many of them expecting to hire more, spend more and earn larger profits, according to the latest New Jersey Business and Industry Association survey.

The survey results are based on responses from 1,470 businesses. Seventy-four percent of those respondents were small businesses, having between one to 24 workers. The survey was taken a month before superstorm Sandy made landfall in late October.

The survey shows 49 percent of businesses expect higher sales revenues, up significantly from 17 percent in 2009. Also, 19 percent of companies expect to hire more people. And, 22 percent of respondents expect to expand their businesses, the survey found.

The results also show that 45 percent of businesses expect higher profits.

In terms of a six-month outlook, 26 percent and 29 percent expect a better U.S. outlook and a better state economic outlook, respectively.

The survey also showed a marked difference in perception of the politicians, with 73 percent of businesses saying Gov. Chris Christie is also doing a “good to excellent job.”

Phil Kirschner, president of NJBIA, called the results “encouraging.”

“New Jersey is on the right track,” he said.

Despite the positive results, Kirchner cautioned the state is not out of the proverbial woods yet.

“We’re still in a recovery,” he said. “We’re not at pre-recessionary levels.”

He doesn’t expect the devastation left by Sandy to alter the economic outlook. If anything, there will likely be a short-term economic boom, particularly in the construction industry.  

“There is no reason that Sandy would change this in the long term,” he said.

NJBIA Survey: business outlook improving