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Business

Colorado Business Starts 2015 With Confidence, Optimism

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Maarten Heerlien
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Creative Commons/Flickr
Despite lower oil prices, business leaders are confident that Colorado's economy will remain strong in early 2015

Colorado business leaders are feeling optimistic about the economic climate heading into the first quarter of 2015. That optimism is the most stable it’s been in more than a decade, according to the newest Leeds Business Confidence Index from the University of Colorado Boulder.

The confidence is partly fueled by months of strong economic growth and falling unemployment – both at the state and national level, said Leeds School economist Richard Wobbekind.

"The big jump in the national number is a very strong positive," Wobbekind said. "That may be correlated to seeing these big GDP numbers and they see employment numbers that are solid nationally and that’s giving them a good feel."

The LCBI – which measures business leaders' expectations in several key areas including sales, profits, and hiring – is at 60.8 for the first the first quarter of 2015, up from 59.5 in the fourth quarter of 2014. The reading is up 0.4 points from Q1 2014.

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Credit Business Research Division / Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder
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Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder

A number above 50 indicates positive expectations.

Wobbekind said the overall stability of the confidence index was somewhat surprising, since the survey was conducted in December, a rocky month for the stock market.

"So… this survey was open during the stock market plummeting and the stock market going up and all the kind of outside volatility, yet when business people are assessing the environment they’re seeing it as really stable right now," Wobbekind said.

While the index coincides with a number of positive signs of growth, Wobbekind and other economists are concerned about stagnating wages and home prices, and the sharp drop in oil prices – which could curtail new energy development in Colorado.

You can read the entire Leeds Business Confidence Index release for Q1 2015 online [.pdf].

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