Sioux Falls CEOs: Business conditions are improving

July 15, 2019

Sioux Falls CEOs are feeling better about the economy and conditions at their businesses than they were earlier this year.

That’s according to the quarterly SiouxFalls.Business CEO survey, done in conjunction with the Augustana Research Institute.

The CEOs were surveyed in June and asked to look ahead to the third quarter.

Twenty-seven percent said conditions at their business were excellent, up from 18 percent three months ago, and 63 percent said conditions were good.

They also were slightly more positive about the Sioux Falls business climate, with 41 percent rating it excellent, up 2 percentage points from the prior quarter, and 52 percent rating it good. Seven percent said the city’s economy was just fair, though, and none responded that way earlier this year.

The CEOs also were generally more optimistic about the U.S. business climate, with 27 percent rating it excellent – up considerably from the 9 percent who rated it that way three months ago.

“Overall, business sentiment and reported economic conditions — sales, capital expenditures and hiring — in Sioux Falls remain robust despite policy (tariffs) and climatic shocks (flooding) striking the agricultural sector,” said Robert Wright, the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana University.

When asked about their own businesses, 43 percent of Sioux Falls CEOs said they expect above-average business activity in the coming quarter, which is similar to last quarter, while 53 percent expect average activity. Three percent expect fair activity, which no one said three months ago.

Hiring is expected to be largely average, although one in five CEOs expects above-average hiring. Seven percent expect below average, an improvement from 12 percent in the previous quarter.

Most expect capital spending to be at or above average for the next three months, although 17 percent said it will be below average.

“The stability may be due to the expectation of countervailing federal subsidies, such as crop insurance, and continued near-term expansion in the non-agricultural sectors,” Wright said.

Sioux Falls CEOs: Business conditions are improving

Sioux Falls CEOs are feeling better about the economy and conditions at their businesses than they were earlier this year.

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