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Survey: Confidence among Colorado business leaders rising

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(The Center Square) – Confidence among Colorado business leaders is rising heading into the new year, according to a quarterly survey by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The survey from the university’s Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, found that while overall confidence “remains suppressed,” almost all of the components measured by the survey increased.

“There was less consensus about the reasons for their outlook compared to the last several quarters, with interest rates, general comments about the economy, and inflation cited as the most pressing factors,” the business school said.

With a Leeds Business Confidence Index score of 50 being neutral, the survey of 196 respondents resulted in an overall index score of 45.3 going into the first quarter of 2024, up from 43.6 in the last quarter of 2023. The outlook for 2024’s second quarter is 49.6.

“Five of the six components of the index increased ahead of the first quarter,” the Business Research Division found.

The index’s individual components measured are state economy (47.2), national economy (45.2), industry sales (46), industry profits (45.4), industry hiring (44.8), and capital expenditures (43.2).

Looking forward to the second quarter, the categories state economy (50), national economy (48), industry sales (53.4), industry profits (51.7), industry hiring (47.3), and capital expenditures (47.3) all increased scores.

Economists in the governor’s office recently “revised up its economic growth expectations from the September forecast due to a rebound of consumption and investment in the third quarter of 2023. Real disposable income is positive and outpacing pre-pandemic growth as inflation is resettling more quickly than moderation of wages.”

Economists with the legislature forecasted slower economic growth “as the lagged impacts of higher interest rates continue to take effect and consumer activity slows due to weakening household finances.”

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