Vermont Business Roundtable survey indicates economic forecast is ‘steady’ for next six months

first_img1. How do you expect your company’s sales to change in the next six months? SalesINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200483%13%4%Q2 200480%15%4%Q3 200471%25%4%Q4 200477%22%1%Q1 200578%19%3%Q2 200575%23%2%Q3 200574%24%2%Q4 200572%24%4%Q1 200678%20%2%Q2 200678%22%0%Q3 200669%25%6%Q4 200673%23%4%Q3 200851%35%14%Q4 200827%46%27%Q1 200933%30%37%Q2 200941%31%28%Q3 200934%49%17%Q1 201063%19%18%Q2 201069%24%7%Q3 201059%35%6%Q4 201071%23%6%Q1 201173%19%8%% change from Q4/10 to Q1/112%-4%2%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. 2. How do you expect your company’s capital spending to change in the next six months? 3. How do you expect your company’s employment to change in the next six months? The chief executives of Vermont’s leading businesses appear poised to hold steady for the spring and summer months of 2011, when compared against the previous survey period. The survey was completed between April 1 and April 15 and released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chair Steve Voigt, CEO, King Arthur Flour and President Lisa Ventriss.According to Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, ‘Overall, these data show an economy that is taking its breath and assuming a ‘wait and see’ posture. The most positive growth indicator continues to be our members’ sales forecasts which showed a slight uptick over the previous period (73 percent compared to 71 percent). And while a plurality of our members are forecasting growth outlooks for capital expenditures and employment levels, (47 percent and 44 percent, respectively), another segment of members is projecting no change in those indicators from the previous quarter (38 percent and 41 percent, respectively),Ventriss said.Chair Steve Voigt said ‘We believe that these data also reflect a hesitation among our CEOs that is related to the current debate around health care reform in Vermont and the nation. We polled our members on this topic and found it to be a major source of concern; there are still many cost-related reform questions yet to be answered, and this makes future investment decisions regarding people or plant difficult to make at best. We must remember that while growth indicators have been trending upward nicely since early 2009, these changes are still fragile.’The Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey provides a forward-looking view of the economic assumptions and attitudes of chief executive officers for 120 of the state’s top employers with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The members represent Vermont’s agriculture, construction, education, health services, finance, real estate, insurance, hospitality/leisure, manufacturing, information, utilities, professional/business services, wholesale trade, and non-profit industries. The response rate for this quarter was 58 percent. Historically, rates have varied from 35 to 73 percent.  center_img EmploymentINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200457%38%4%Q2 200450%48%2%Q3 200459%37%4%Q4 200458%39%3%Q1 200555%38%7%Q2 200549%42%9%Q3 200549%44%7%Q4 200560%35%5%Q1 200654%39%7%Q2 200650%45%5%Q3 200643%49%7%Q4 200653%41%5%Q3 200840%42%18%Q4 200825%35%40%Q1 200923%37%40%Q2 200921%50%29%Q3 200934%46%20%Q1 201040%52%8%Q2 201046%45%9%Q3 201035%52%13%Q4 201051%38%11%Q1 201144%41%15%% Change from Q4/10 to Q1/11-7%3%4%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 120 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $135 billion and employing 15 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues. CapitalINCREASENO CHANGEDECREASEQ1 200462%30%8%Q2 200443%41%15%Q3 200451%42%7%Q4 200445%46%9%Q1 200555%37%8%Q2 200549%43%8%Q3 200557%38%5%Q4 200550%35%15%Q1 200645%45%10%Q2 200653%40%7%Q3 200640%50%10%Q4 200656%39%5%Q3 200838%42%20%Q4 200817 %43%40%Q1 200912%38%50%Q2 200917%51%32%Q3 200931%46%23%Q1 201050%42%8%Q2 201051%38%11%Q3 201037%48%15%Q4 201049%34%17%Q1 201147%38%15%% Change from Q4/10 to Q1/11-2%4%-2%Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. Source: VBR. 4.18.2011last_img