Business Roundtable economic outlook survey improves through first half of 2012

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Business Roundtable economic outlook survey improves through first half of 2012

Tue, 01/03/2012 - 11:43am -- tim

The chief executives of Vermont’s leading businesses appear poised to maintain their growth plans through the first half of 2012, improving on results from the previous survey.  The survey was completed between December 9 and December 23 and released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chair Steve Voigt, CEO, King Arthur Flour and President Lisa Ventriss.
According to Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, ‘When viewed in the aggregate, these results point to an economy that is steadily improving, albeit slowly and with the concern attributed to key policy and political issues.  Overall, the positive trends continue and the negative trends are decreasing.’ More than 60 percent of Roundtable CEOs expect to see their sales volumes increase; another 40 percent forecast increases in their capital expense budgets; and, 43 percent anticipate a larger workforce in the next six months. In all three cases, the amount of CEOs responding with negative outlooks is less than 10 percent.
Chair Steve Voigt said ‘The modest uptick on all three of these key indicators is a positive sign for Vermont businesses and the strength of our economy into 2012. For the second survey period in a row, CEOs have been indicating an increase in economic activity that bodes well for Vermonters. ‘
The Roundtable’s CEO Economic Outlook Survey provides a forward-looking view of the economic assumptions and attitudes of chief executive officers of 118 of the state’s top employers with an aggregate economic impact of $292 billion, with over $1.8 billion in corporate philanthropy, and employing more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce.  The members represent Vermont’s agriculture, construction, education, health services, finance, real estate, insurance, hospitality/leisure, manufacturing, information, utilities, professional/business services, wholesale trade, and non-profit industries.  
The response rate for this quarter was 62 percent.  Historically, rates have varied from 35 to 73 percent. 
1. How do you expect your company’s sales to change in the next six months? 

Sales

INCREASE

NO CHANGE

DECREASE

Q1 2004

83%

13%

4%

Q2 2004

80%

15%

4%

Q3 2004

71%

25%

4%

Q4 2004

77%

22%

1%

Q1 2005

78%

19%

3%

Q2 2005

75%

23%

2%

Q3 2005

74%

24%

2%

Q4 2005

72%

24%

4%

Q1 2006

78%

20%

2%

Q2 2006

78%

22%

0%

Q3 2006

69%

25%

6%

Q4 2006

73%

23%

4%

Q3 2008

51%

35%

14%

Q4 2008

27%

46%

27%

Q1 2009

33%

30%

37%

Q2 2009

41%

31%

28%

Q3 2009

34%

49%

17%

Q1 2010

63%

19%

18%

Q2 2010

69%

24%

7%

Q3 2010

59%

35%

6%

Q4 2010

71%

23%

6%

Q1 2011

73%

19%

8%

Q2 2011

61%

34%

5%

Q3 2011

62%

33%

5%

Q4 2011

64%

27%

9%

Point change from Q3 to Q4

2

-6

4

Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. 
2. How do you expect your company’s capital spending to change in the next six months? 

Capital

INCREASE

NO CHANGE

DECREASE

Q1 2004

62%

30%

8%

Q2 2004

43%

41%

15%

Q3 2004

51%

42%

7%

Q4 2004

45%

46%

9%

Q1 2005

55%

37%

8%

Q2 2005

49%

43%

8%

Q3 2005

57%

38%

5%

Q4 2005

50%

35%

15%

Q1 2006

45%

45%

10%

Q2 2006

53%

40%

7%

Q3 2006

40%

50%

10%

Q4 2006

56%

39%

5%

Q3 2008

38%

42%

20%

Q4 2008

17 %

43%

40%

Q1 2009

12%

38%

50%

Q2 2009

17%

51%

32%

Q3 2009

31%

46%

23%

Q1 2010

50%

42%

8%

Q2 2010

51%

38%

11%

Q3 2010

37%

48%

15%

Q4 2010

49%

34%

17%

Q1 2011

47%

38%

15%

Q2 2011

46%

44%

10%

Q3 2011

39%

58%

3%

Q4 2011

40%

54%

6%

Point change from Q3 to Q4

1

-4

3

Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. 
3. How do you expect your company’s employment to change in the next six months? 

Employment

INCREASE

NO CHANGE

DECREASE

Q1 2004

57%

38%

4%

Q2 2004

50%

48%

2%

Q3 2004

59%

37%

4%

Q4 2004

58%

39%

3%

Q1 2005

55%

38%

7%

Q2 2005

49%

42%

9%

Q3 2005

49%

44%

7%

Q4 2005

60%

35%

5%

Q1 2006

54%

39%

7%

Q2 2006

50%

45%

5%

Q3 2006

43%

49%

7%

Q4 2006

53%

41%

5%

Q3 2008

40%

42%

18%

Q4 2008

25%

35%

40%

Q1 2009

23%

37%

40%

Q2 2009

21%

50%

29%

Q3 2009

34%

46%

20%

Q1 2010

40%

52%

8%

Q2 2010

46%

45%

9%

Q3 2010

35%

52%

13%

Q4 2010

51%

38%

11%

Q1 2011

44%

41%

15%

Q2 2011

36%

53%

11%

Q3 2011

40%

50%

10%

Q4 2011

43%

49%

8%

Point change from Q3 to Q4

3

-1

-2

Totals may not equal 100 due to rounding. 
The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 118 CEOs of Vermont's top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate economic impact of $292 billion, over $1.8 billion in corporate philanthropy, and employing more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.