Sioux Falls CEOs more confident in U.S. economy, slightly less in their businesses

Feb. 12, 2018

Sioux Falls CEOs say overall business conditions nationally are improving, but they’re a little less enthusiastic about their own businesses than they were two months ago.

Four dozen area top executives responded to a bimonthly survey conducted in January by SiouxFalls.Business and the Augustana Research Institute. The survey will be done quarterly in 2018.

Four out of 10 executives said overall business conditions at their organization were excellent – a 10 percentage point drop from November. Six in 10 said conditions were good.

In evaluating the national economy, opinion improved. Eighteen percent rated business conditions in the U.S. as excellent, a 5 percentage point improvement from November. The number of executives rating national conditions as fair dropped from 21 percent to 9 percent.

Executives’ opinions of the Sioux Falls economy were similar to November, with 64 percent rating it as excellent.

“Although respondents are more confident in the nation’s overall business climate than they were in mid-November — likely the result of passage of the tax reform bill late last year — respondents still find the Sioux Falls business climate much superior than the national one,” said Robert Wright, the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana University.

“Inflation and inflation expectations remain tame, though the percentage of respondents indicating slight increases in the prices of their products jumped, almost wholly at the expense of companies reporting no change since the last survey.”

Looking ahead, 51 percent of executives surveyed expect above-average business activity in their companies in the next two months, which is 4 percentage points less than in November. Forty-seven percent expect average activity, and 2 percent expect below-average activity.

In considering capital expenditures, 31 percent expect above-average spending, which is 5 percentage points more than in November, while 58 percent expect average spending and 9 percent anticipate below-average spending.

“Sales activity, new hiring and capital investment remain robust and expectations strong,” Wright said. “Overall, respondents expect the local economy to continue to grow quickly in inflation-adjusted terms even as the national economy continues to improve.”

Sioux Falls CEOs more confident in U.S. economy, slightly less in their businesses

Sioux Falls CEOs say overall business conditions nationally are improving, but they’re a little less enthusiastic about their own businesses than they were two months ago.

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