Playing from Behind

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Gioia-Pete-10Survey: State’s economy lags national recovery

HARTFORD — Connecticut's economy continues to lag behind the nationaleconomic recovery, according to a survey of state businesses released June 6.

The Connecticut Business & Industry Association's "/">Quarterly Economic Survey: FirstQuarter 2013 found that just 17 percent of surveyed businesses expect thestate's economy to improve, while almost a quarter (23 percent) saw the U.S.economy "">there.

That outlook repeated a pattern from previous quarters, although visit us now forecaststability for the national economy. Approximately 39 percent thought the state'seconomy would remain stable, up from 34 percent the previous quarter.

"These numbers show a state economy that still has a long way to go to reachsustainable conditions," said CBIA economist Pete Gioia (pictured).

A plurality of surveyed businesses were optimistic about their sales and production forecasts, with 39 percent predicting increases, while just 17 percent saw declines. More than a third (35 percent) saw conditions improving for their firms.

And about a quarter (24 percent) indicated they would add employees in the second quarter, with 15 percent expecting to pare their workforces.

Gioia noted that the January 2014 deadline for complying with requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act was a "major concern" for the state's businesses, with 87 percent of respondents predicting increased costs.

"Just one percent believes Obamacare will reduce compensation and benefit costs for their companies, while 11 percent see no fiscal impact," Gioia said.

"And it was quite telling that just 13 percent felt they had enough information to understand and comply with federal health-care requirements," he added.

Other responses from the CBIA survey:

• 29 percent of respondents saw improving conditions for their industry, while 20 percent expected declines.

• 37 percent predicted increases in productivity, up from 30 percent the previous quarter.

• 38 percent foresaw an increase in wage costs, while 59 percent expected those costs to remain stable.

• 36 percent forecast higher compensation and benefits costs, while 59 percent said they would stay the same.

CBIA's Quarterly Economic Survey: First Quarter 2013 was emailed to approximately 1,900 Connecticut businesses in April. A total of 221 responded, for a 11.6-percent response rate and a margin of error of plus or minus 6.7 percent.


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