March Issue 2012 PREMIER Business & Finance: Survey, Pulse of the Local Economy
If optimism about the future means anything then perhaps our economy is about to take a turn for the better. Or at least that’s what our Pulse of the Local Economy survey is telling us.
We polled local business owners and CEOs about how their companies are doing, how they have done and where they think they are going this year. We also asked them about their inclinations toward investments and taxes. Some of the results came out fairly predictably, but what surprised us was the level of optimism about this year’s business climate.
Nearly 85% of those polled expect their business to improve over the next 6 to 12 months. This is especially interesting since only 25% of respondents said business was better than average over the last 6 months of 2011. This optimism should be good news for those who are looking for work. Nearly 58% said they are planning to hire this year.
Their answers also bode well for business expenditures as nearly half said they are planning to increase their advertising budgets this year and 50% of the respondents said they plan on updating their business technology this year.
What was fairly predictable was the vast majority, 90%, of respondents said federal income taxes are too high, 85% said California State income taxes are too high, and 71% said corporate taxes should be lowered.
The survey indicates that the vast majority feel it is a very good time to buy houses (92%), commercial buildings (79%), and apartment buildings (71%).
As for stock and bond investing, 72% think it is a good time to invest in U.S. stocks and approximately 70% think it is a good time to invest in Emerging Markets such as China, India etc. Respondents had almost the exact opposite response to buying bonds. Only 30% said to buy bonds now, while about 35% thought it was a good time to be in cash.
Inflation does not appear to be a worry as approximately 67% of respondents said they were not worried about it.
As for travel and entertainment, only about 29% said they will take more vacations this year (most said they will take the same number as they did last year). But perhaps the one industry that should be worried is the restaurant industry. Nearly all respondents said they will eat out about the same number of times as last year with about 25% saying they will eat out less.
Finally, when it comes to cell phones, the I-Phone beat the Blackberry and the Droid as people’s favorite by a 2 to 1 margin!! No big surprise there.
If you are a business owner or a CEO and want to participate in our survey, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Steven R. Wolff, Managing Partner at Wolff, Wiese, Magana
For more information visit: www.wwmfinancial.com
Wolff Wiese Magana is an Investment Adviser registered with the SEC. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Wolff Wiese Magana and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. This editorial is solely for informational purposes. No advice may be rendered unless a client service agreement is in place.