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U T A H ’ S Q U A R T E R LY E C O N O M I C S U R V E Y O F B U S I N E S S E X E C U T I V E S

2017 PRE-TEST - QUARTER 4


ABOUT THE SALT LAKE CHAMBER’S CEOutlook The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah business executives. Modeled after other national business sentiment surveys, it provides a forward-looking view of the Utah economy. The results of the survey will help business and community leaders make informed decisions about likely future economic conditions. The survey is currently in its “pre-test” stage and will be evaluated through 2018 to assess its predictive value.

QUARTER

CONDUCTED

SAMPLE

Quarter 1

February 2017

28

Quarter 2

May 2017

41

Quarter 3

August-September 2017

45

Quarter 4

November-December 2017

40

2018 Should Be a Great Year for Utah’s Economy Utah’s economy thrived in 2017. We continue to garner national accolades for job creation, personal income growth, and our premier business climate. Over the course of the year, we measured the decision-makers behind this success through the Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook, allowing us to better understand Utah’s economy. As we enter a new year and look to apply this knowledge, I’m reminded of a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Utah has much to be proud of, but we must not grow complacent. To take Franklin’s words literally, we need to be at war with the challenges to our future success by addressing talent attraction and retention, housing affordability and air quality. We need to love our neighbors through continuing our support of efforts to solve the state’s homelessness crisis. We also need to utilize this new year to become a better state through improvements in education funding, tax modernization and incentives for balancing our family values and business climate.

Lane Beattie President and CEO Salt Lake Chamber

While these issues are included in my list, this quarter we asked executives for their thoughts on what emerging trends, risks and other factors may have a positive or negative impact on Utah’s economy. These insights help to fill in the blanks often unobserved by other economic data--such as disruption in retail, workforce challenges, and geopolitical instability--and their impacts to our local community. All of these efforts are a worthwhile undertaking, as this quarter’s results show, that can lead to even better economic growth in the year ahead.

2018 Will Be a Balancing Act for the Utah Economy The Utah economy continues to deliver. Utah CEOs reflect this optimism in their responses to the CEOutlook where 80-90 percent assess the economy positively in terms of current and future conditions. Interestingly, their open-ended commentary conveys a slightly different message, including concerns about labor shortages, rising costs, air quality, and rising interest rates. These concerns are balanced by their enthusiasm for the federal tax cut, booming stock market and reduced regulatory burdens. We have a balancing act going on in 2018, as fiscal and monetary policy push in different directions. My personal read is that we will see a convergence of local and national economic conditions. Utah’s economic growth will be more subdued as U.S. economic growth accelerates. I predict both economies will meet in the middle. We will need to keep an eye on the indicators, but I think 2018 is “middle earth” for the Utah economy. I applaud the CEOutlook for giving us one more data point to help us understand these fascinating dynamics.

Natalie Gochnour Director and Chief Economist Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and Salt Lake Chamber

This quarter includes the first installment of the Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Confidence Index (graphed on the next page). We calculated the index based on responses to the four standard questions included in each quarter’s survey. The index can range from 0 to 100. A score below 50 indicates executives believe the economy will worsen; a score above 50 indicates a belief among executives that the economy will improve. Over the next year, we will fine tune and evaluate the index to better understand its relationship to economic performance. This quarter, the Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Confidence Index was 60.63, this follows a steady shift of lowering optimism for Utah’s economy from 66.29 in first quarter 2017. As noted above, this trend is consistent with the Utah economy’s place in the economic cycle vis-à-vis the nation and signals continuing economic moderation.

CEOutlook: Utah’s Quarterly Economic Survey of Business Executives


SALT LAKE CHAMBER’S CEOUTLOOK CONFIDENCE INDEX AND JOB GROWTH The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Confidence Index is based on responses to the four standard questions included in each quarter’s survey (Questions 1-4). The index can range from 0 to 100. A score below 50 indicates executives believe the economy will worsen; a score above 50 indicates a belief among executives that the economy will improve. Over the next year, we will fine tune and evaluate the index to better understand its relationship to economic performance.

3.2%

100

3.2%

90

3.5%

2.7%

80 70 60

2.5% 2%

40 30

Index Job growth

60.63

0%

62.00

1%

62.84

1.5%

17-Q1 66.29 3.2%

17-Q2 62.84 3.2%

17-Q3 62.00 2.7%

17-Q4 60.63 2.5%

20

Concern <50

50

66.29

Year-Over Job Growth

3%

2.5%

>50 Optimisim

4%

10 0

2017 Pre-Test - Quarter 4


CONTINUED MOMENTUM: MAJORITY OF EXECUTIVES REPORT UTAH’S ECONOMY AS STILL IMPROVING 1 - How would you describe the current economic conditions in Utah compared to six months ago?

61%

56%

54% 42%

50% 43%

42%

36%

4%

0% 0%

5%

0% 0%

17- Q1 N=28

2%

17- Q2 N=41

Significantly Better

0% 0%

5%

17- Q3 N=45

Somewhat Better

About the Same

3%

0%

17- Q4 N=40

Somewhat Worse

Significantly Worse

STEADY OPTIMISM: MAJORITY OF EXECUTIVES REMAIN OPTIMISTIC ABOUT UTAH’S ECONOMY 2 - What is your expectation for economic conditions in Utah six months from now?

64% 55%

51% 45% 45%

0%

38%

37%

36%

0% 0%

3%

17- Q1 N=28 Significantly Better

5%

CEOutlook: Utah’s Quarterly Economic Survey of Business Executives

4%

0%

17- Q2 N=38 Somewhat Better

10%

7%

0%

17- Q3 N=45 About the Same

Somewhat Worse

0%

0% 17- Q4 N=40

Significantly Worse


INDUSTRY INSIGHTS: MAJORITY OF EXECUTIVES STILL OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OWN INDUSTRY, SMALL TREND OF INCREASING PESSIMISM 3 - What is your expectation for your own industry six months from now?

50%

50%

43% 43%

43%

40%

27% 16%

14%

21% 13%

17- Q1 N=28

0%

17- Q2 N=41

Significantly Better

15%

11%

0%

0%

0%

11%

3%

17- Q3 N=45

Somewhat Better

About the Same

0% 17- Q4 N=40

Somewhat Worse

Significantly Worse

MODERATE GROWTH: MAJORITY OF EXECUTIVES ANTICIPATE MODERATE PROFIT GROWTH 4 - What are your expectations for your firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s profits in the next 12 months?

54%

52%

58%

51% 38%

37% 29%

23% 7%

11%

9%

8%

3%

0% 17- Q1 N=28 Increase Considerably

18%

0%

2%

17- Q2 N=38 Increase Moderately

0% 17- Q3 N=45

Remain the Same

Decrease Moderately

3%

0% 17- Q4 N=40 Decrease Considerably 2017 Pre-Test - Quarter 4


SOME EXECUTIVES ANTICIPATE INNOVATION AND DEMAND TO DRIVE PROFIT GROWTH 5 - Which factor do you anticipate will be the primary driver for increasing profits over the next 12 months?

INCREASED DEMAND

REDUCTION IN COSTS 59%

0%

61%

9% 8%

54% 42%

4%

INCREASED PRICES

OTHER*

18%

24%

9%

22% 21%

17% 33%

17-Q1 N=28

21% 17-Q2 N=20

17-Q3 N=24

17-Q4 N=24

*Other: Technological and digital offerings will drive additional business; Market consolidation; Innovation: new products and services; Increased volume; Commodity price increases.

SOME EXECUTIVES ANTICIPATE DECREASING DEMAND AND INCREASING COSTS TO REDUCE PROFITS 6 - Which factor do you anticipate will be the primary driver in decreasing profits over the next 12 months?

DECREASED DEMAND

INCREASE IN COSTS 33%

33%

0%

0% 25%

0% 43%

29%

DECREASED PRICES

OTHER

0%

33% 100%

0%

0%

75% 14%

14% 17-Q1 N=3

17-Q2 N=1

17-Q3 N=4 *Other: Declining revenue; Rents.

CEOutlook: Utahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Quarterly Economic Survey of Business Executives

17-Q4 N=7


HELP WANTED: HIRING MAY SLOW IN YEAR AHEAD, LIKELY DUE TO TIGHT LABOR MARKET

45%

9%

10%

33%

45%

58%

7 - Do you expect the overall headcount at your company to increase, decrease or stay the same over the next 12 months?

17-Q3 N=45 Increase

17-Q4 N=40 Stay the Same

Decrease

Q8 - WHAT EMERGING TRENDS, RISKS AND OTHER FACTORS DO YOU THINK MAY HAVE A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE IMPACT ON UTAH’S ECONOMY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS? Below are highlighted, anonymized quotes from executives:

“Retail is in a period of great disruption. While sales continue to be strong in the brick and mortar environment, it is becoming increasingly difficult to generate revenue”.

“Utah’s biggest benefit is also becoming one of its biggest challenges. The strong economy is creating a tight labor market which is making it difficult to find employees and grow businesses.”

“Potential changes in federal trade policies, geopolitical instability and supply of workers. Also, education and teacher turnover continue to be a significant issue.”

“I cannot find good people to help grow my business.”

“Rising costs of labor [and] housing will make Utah less competitive/ attractive to prospective businesses.” “Continued growth in multi-family housing should be positive, both in terms of continued expansion in construction and more available housing in the downtown area.”

“Utah’s air quality is a big risk to our economy. We need to do more. This could be our worst winter yet and need to realize this impacts economic development and our employee’s health. Both have a cost.”

“Positives: continued growth in population, construction, and tech economy. Risks: Political environment in Washington, increasing consumer debt.”

2017 Pre-Test - Quarter 4


KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS FOR BUSINESS LEADERS QUARTER 4 AVERAGES

Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Confidence Index

Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index

Utah Job Growth Rate

U.S. Small Business: Metlife & U.S. Chamber Small Business Index

Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index

Salt Lake Board of Realtors: Wasatch Front Housing Prices

Utah Unemployment Rate

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index

U.S. Large Business: Business Roundtable CEO Outlook Index

Global: The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence

“Your Company Ad Here” Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Economic Confidence Index Sponsor Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Report Sponsor Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook Economic Rountable Sponsor

For more details please contact Michael Parker, Vice President of Public Policy, Salt Lake Chamber (mmparker@slchamber.com | 801-328-5068)

ABOUT THE SALT LAKE CHAMBER

ABOUT THE KEM C. GARDNER POLICY INSTITUTE

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000-plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of members and their employees.

The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah develops and shares economic, demographic and public policy data and research that help individuals and the community make informed decisions. Housed in the David Eccles School of Business, the Institute seeks to be a vital gathering place and center for independent economic, demographic and public policy thought leadership that helps the Utah economy to prosper. The Institute is a strategic partner with the Salt Lake Chamber in serving Utah.

CEOutlook: Utah’s Quarterly Economic Survey of Business Executives


RESPONDENT INDUSTRY MAKE UP SECTOR

NUMBER RESPONDING

TOTAL POSSIBLE

3-YEAR CONTRIBUTION TO GDP

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Finance, Insurance Real Estate, Rental & Leasing

10

11

10

11

15

25%

Manufacturing

3

5

8

6

8

14%

Professional & Business Services

4

6

5

5

7

12%

Retail Trade

2

3

3

4

5

8%

Education, Health Care & Social Services

1

1

3

5

5

8%

Construction

1

3

4

4

4

6%

Wholesale Trade

1

2

1

1

3

6%

Information

1

2

2

2

3

5%

Mining

1

2

2

2

2

4%

Arts, Entertainment, Recreation & Accommodation

1

1

2

1

2

4%

Transportation & Warehousing

1

1

2

1

2

4%

Other

1

2

2

0

2

3%

Utilities

1

1

1

1

1

>1%

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting

0

0

0

0

0

<1%

*Sample attempts to proportionally represent Utah’s business sectors. Sectors are determined by the Utah Department of Workforce Services FirmFinder.

METHODOLOGY The Salt Lake Chamber partners with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah to design, tabulate and analyze the survey. Fifty business executives from Utah’s fourteen major industries are asked 6-8 questions, depending on their responses, about their company and Utah’s economic performance. Respondents are selected by each industry’s contribution to the Utah economy. Panelists come from a range of firm sizes and locations within Utah.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Michael Parker Vice President of Public Policy Salt Lake Chamber 801-328-5068 mmparker@slchamber.com

Natalie Gochnour Director and Chief Economist Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and Salt Lake Chamber 801-585-5618 natalie.gochnour@eccles.utah.edu

Dianne Meppen Director of Survey Research Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute 801-585-5618 dianne.meppen@utah.edu

2017 Pre-Test - Quarter 4


CEOutlook - 2017 Pre-Test - Q4  

The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah’s foremost business executives. As an authoritative business su...

CEOutlook - 2017 Pre-Test - Q4  

The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah’s foremost business executives. As an authoritative business su...

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