Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business Administration

Quarterly Survey Results Suggest ‘Georgia CEO’ Readers Remain Optimistic

The results of the 2017 second quarter (Q2) Georgia CEO survey suggest that Georgia business leaders’ confidence levels have returned to close to Q4 of 2016 levels.

The purpose of the survey is to better understand how general business conditions are impacting Georgia CEO subscribers on a quarterly basis. Georgia CEO partners with the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED), a member of the Georgia Southern University College of Business, to prepare, distribute and analyze the survey.

In Q2 of 2017, survey participants showed an increase in confidence in hiring by businesses and in their own employment prospects. Looking ahead to Q3, participants noted about the same level of confidence as was exhibited in the Q2 survey responses.

“It appears that an increase in demand for goods and services is starting to lead to more hiring and a brighter picture for the labor market,” said Ben McKay, research specialist at BBRED.

When asked directly for their outlook on Georgia business conditions, 47 percent believe conditions are improving, and 46 percent view conditions as unchanged. This remains a positive outlook from previous surveys conducted this year, since the surveys reported high levels of optimism.

McKay says, looking forward, general business conditions will be better over the next three months. Factors such as interest rate increases, access to credit and cost of labor are not impacting the views of survey respondents. Volume of business and sales are hovering around the 50 percent mark, while financial health remains steady.

Looking back over the past three months, 43 percent of respondents viewed hiring by their firm as favorable, an increase from 36 percent in the Q1 survey. Participants also expect an increase in their own employment prospects, from 37 percent in Q1 to 45 percent in Q2. Combining hiring and employment, participants could be feeling the effects of an improving statewide job market. Also noted in this survey’s responses are potential restraints on feelings regarding government policy and a shortage of skilled labor; however, increasing demand seems to be driving the surge in optimism.

A convenience sampling technique was used for this study and the questionnaire was emailed to subscribers of each of nine Georgia CEO daily newsletters. Georgia CEO publishes a newsletter in Albany, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Middle Georgia, Newnan, Savannah and Valdosta. The survey was open from July 6, 2017, through July 17, 2017, and 195 valid responses were collected.

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