Businesses split on recovery

By SENTINEL STAFF

More than 70 percent of Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce members polled believe the local economy is weak or extremely weak, according to the chamber’s semiannual economic outlook survey released Tuesday.

“Consumer confidence, implementation of the Affordable Care Act and perceptions of a weak economy were most often cited as the driving factors impacting business for the next six months,” Chamber President and CEO Diane Schwenke said in a news release.

In November 2012, members polled said the top driving factor impacting the economy was increased business costs due to new fees and regulations.

The chamber polled 250 of its 1,200 members to obtain the results.

About one-third of those responding to the survey said they believe their sales will increase in the next six months, while 53 percent predicted sales numbers will remain flat. 

In last year’s survey only 25 percent believed sales would increase.

More than 40 percent of those polled said they will continue to delay capital investments for the next six months, down from the fall of 2012 when more than half expected to delay capital investments.

About 17 percent expect employment to rise during the next six months and 14 percent expect layoffs.

Roughly half of those responding to the poll have not changed their outlook on the economy during the past six months.  Nearly 30 percent are now less optimistic while nearly 20 percent are more optimistic. 

About half believe it will be 2015 or later before the local economy begins to recover, another 21 percent expect the recovery in late 2014 and only 7 percent believe we will see recovery in the first half of the new year.


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