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Colorado Business Leaders A Bit More Optimistic Heading Into Spring, CU Survey Finds

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A cabbage crop in Lafayette, Colo.

Colorado business leaders expect the state’s economy to continue its expansion in the coming quarter, according to survey findings released Monday by the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business.

Researchers asked 310 participants from various industries how they felt about sales, profits, hiring and capital investments heading into spring and summer. Fifty-four percent of those polled said they believed the state economy would expand.

About a third were neutral.

Less than half of business leaders said they expected an increase in their own hiring and purchasing plans.

Fewer than half of the panelists — 47 percent — said they expected a national expansion in the second quarter of this year. About 20 percent expected a decline, according to the report.

When asked about tax savings from the recent federal tax overhaul, respondents said their households would increase savings or they do not expect a personal tax cut. Most leaders said they were unsure what their businesses would do with tax savings or that they planned to invest in equipment, the survey found.

Rich Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division, said in a statement he views the response to investment in company infrastructure as a positive sign.

“We really need higher capital investment to get more productivity and higher wage growth. That’s something that’s really been missing from the economy,” Wobbekind stated.

The report also said Colorado ranked fifth nationally in year-over-year personal income growth in 2017.

Following three consecutive years of 3 percent employment growth in Colorado, the pace slowed to 2.3 percent in 2016, according to the Leeds School’s 2018 Economic Outlook.

Last year, the state added 56,300 jobs. This year, the pace of employment growth is expected to slow further, to 1.8 percent, or 47,100 jobs, according to the 2018 outlook.

View a full copy of the Q2 2018 report here.

I cover a wide range of issues within Colorado’s dynamic economy including energy, labor, housing, beer, marijuana, elections and other general assignment stories.
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