Eighty-five percent of survey respondents believed the national economy would experience moderate to strong growth over the next 12 months, but only 18 percent had the same feelings about the state’s economy. Fifty-two percent of respondents predicted a static economic environment in Connecticut over the next 12 months.
The survey found 69 percent of Connecticut companies reported profits in 2017, up 3 percent from the previous year, while 18 percent reported losses last year, a one percent drop from 2016; 13 percent of businesses broke even, a 4 percent annualized decline. Looking forward, 73 percent of businesses forecast a profitable 2018, 19 percent expected to break even and 8 percent predicted losses for this year. Forty-three percent of survey respondents reported sales growth, 44 percent said they are holding steady and 13 percent acknowledged falling sales.
There was little love for lawmakers among the survey’s respondents: 81 percent disapproved of the legislature’s handling of the economy and job creation, with 5 percent giving their approval and 14 percent remaining neutral on the question. Politics and business intertwined with many respondents: 71 percent said Connecticut’s economic issues would factor into how they voted this year versus previous elections, and 37 percent said cutting government spending should be the top priority for Connecticut’s next governor and General Assembly while 30 percent put priority on fixing the state’s economy and business climate.
“Unfortunately, business leaders feel not enough lawmakers take the state’s challenges seriously,” said CBIA President and CEO Joe Brennan. “They want change and an aggressive, sustained focus on driving economic growth and job creation.”