Business executives across Connecticut seem somewhat more hopeful regarding conditions for their firms, their industries, and the state and national economies according to a survey of business leaders, released today.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s Quarterly Economic Survey: Fourth Quarter 2013 found that 38% of respondents expect their own firm to improve, up from 36% last quarter. Only 13% see worsening conditions versus 23% in the previous quarter.

These findings mirror trends in the national and state economies.

Seventy-three percent of respondents believe that the national economy will remain stable or improve, while 26% believe that it will worsen.

This outlook is an improvement over the last quarter, when 67% of respondents were optimistic about the national economy and 33% believed it would take a turn for the worse.

Roughly two-thirds (64%) believe the state economy will remain stable or improve, compared to 61% percent last quarter.

“The survey shows that while conditions are far from ideal, they are conducive to future growth,” says Peter Gioia, vice president and economist of CBIA.

Other key findings, from the latest Quarterly Economic Survey include:

  • 41% of respondents predict increases in production and sales, while 12% see declines
  • 20% predict an expansion of their workforce; 13% see it shrinking
  • 55% forecast stable or decreasing employee compensation/benefit costs; 45% plan for increases
  • 38% of respondents generate sales from exports, down from 48% last quarter

CBIA’s Quarterly Economic Survey: Fourth Quarter 2013 was emailed to over 1,800 Connecticut business leaders in February 2014. A total of 204 responded, for a 11% response rate and a margin of error of 6.9%.