While Colorado business leaders are slightly less confident, the latest results of a survey tracking their expectations continue to reflect a positive outlook overall.
The Leeds Business Confidence Index slipped 1.7 points for the third quarter. But at 59.6, the index reflects more positive than negative responses.
“Business leaders are seeing the strength of the economy, the growth in personal income, the growth in state output, and they are reflecting that going forward,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the research division of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Leaders also cited some potential headwinds, though, Wobbekind said: affordable housing, higher interest rates, labor shortages and policy uncertainties. “They really want those policies clarified so they can make a decision based on reality, “ he said.
The division calculates the index based on the results of surveys of nearly 300 business leaders from across Colorado and a variety of industries. For the third quarter, readings fell for five of the six metrics the index tracks, but remained well above 50.
Confidence in the Colorado economy rose 1.3 points from the second to third quarter to 63.4. While 56.3 percent of business leaders responding to the survey upon which the latest reading was based expect moderate or strong increases in the economy, 35.1 percent anticipated no change and 8.7 percent forecast moderate or strong decreases.
Confidence in the national economy retreated 1.1 points to 57 with 46.2 percent of leaders predicting moderate or strong increases, 31.9 percent forecasting no change and 21.6 percent anticipating moderate or strong decreases.
The reading for hiring in Colorado fell a point to 59.5 with 44.8 percent of leaders expecting moderate or strong increases in staffing, 44.4 percent anticipating no change and 10.7 percent predicting moderate or strong decreases. The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate slipped a tenth of a point to 2.8 percent in May, the latest month for which estimates are available. Nonfarm payrolls have grown 72,800 over the past year.
The reading for sales fell three points to 61.3 with 53.5 percent of leaders forecasting moderate or strong increases, 35.4 percent expecting no change and 11.1 percent predicting moderate or strong decreases.
The reading for profits fell 2.7 points to 59.8 with 50.3 percent of leaders projecting moderate or strong increases, 35.8 percent anticipating no change and 13.9 percent forecasting moderate or strong decreases.
The reading for capital expenditures dropped 3.6 points to 56.9 with 40 percent of leaders predicting moderate or strong increases, 46.5 percent expecting no change and 13.5 percent anticipating moderate or strong decreases.