Sioux Falls CEOs report increased optimism heading toward year end

Oct. 8, 2018

Sioux Falls CEOs are feeling increasingly positive about their businesses as the end of 2018 approaches, according to the most recent quarterly SiouxFalls.Business CEO survey done in partnership with the Augustana Research Institute.

About 50 CEOs responded to the survey, which looks ahead to their plans for the fourth quarter.

Nearly half – 48 percent – said conditions at their business are excellent, while 52 percent said they are good.

That’s noticeably better than three months ago, when 40 percent responded excellent and some said conditions were fair or poor.

The results are “consistent with recent economic data over the past several months in both Sioux Falls and statewide in South Dakota,” state economist Jim Terwilliger said.

“Both Sioux Falls and the state overall continue to see job increases in most sectors.”

More than six in 10 CEOs said business conditions in Sioux Falls are excellent, with 37 percent responding they are good and 2 percent rating them fair. That’s the most positive they have been about the local economy so far this year. It’s also considerably better than they felt one year ago, when 33 percent rated local business conditions as excellent.

Looking ahead, nearly all CEOs expect average or above average business activity for the remainder of the year. That’s on par with what they said three months ago and a little more robust than they expected one year ago.

“In addition, consumer spending has been strong recently based on our state’s recent sales tax activity,” Terwilliger said. “Through the first two months of the state’s fiscal year, sales tax collections are up 7 percent compared to the same period a year ago, which is also a positive sign for consumer confidence and business activity across the state.”

Sioux Falls CEOs plan to keep investing in their businesses, according to the survey.

Eighty-seven percent anticipate average or above-average capital spending in the next three months, which is the most robust response so far this year.

And 89 percent expect average to above-average hiring in the next quarter, which is similar to how they have responded for the rest of 2018.

“The statewide unemployment rate has dropped several points over the past several months and is currently at 3 percent, indicating a continued strong labor market,” Terwilliger said. “Based on the survey results, CEOs in the Sioux Falls area are overall upbeat.”

Sioux Falls CEOs report increased optimism heading toward year end

Sioux Falls CEOs are feeling increasingly positive about their businesses as the end of 2018 approaches, according to the most recent quarterly SiouxFalls.Business CEO survey done in partnership with the Augustana Research Institute.

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