Five-plus years after the end of the recession, Connecticut’s economy remains in a pattern of slow growth, according to a new survey released today.

The 2015 CBIA/Farmington Bank 2nd Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey found 52% of business leaders see their firm’s outlook as stable, 34% forecast improvement, and 13% expect worsening conditions.

Those findings match the results from the first quarter, when 51% saw stable conditions, 37% expected growth, and 11% expected a decline.

About two-thirds (67%) said the size of their workforce will remain unchanged (compared with 58% in the previous quarter), with 23% expecting to add employees in the near term (versus 28% in the first quarter).

Ten percent of respondents said they expected to cut the size of their workforce, against 14% the previous quarter.

And 59% plan on making capital investments, primarily in production or sales, compared with 56% in the first quarter, when investment priorities were shared across production, operations, and technology.

“These results reinforce that Connecticut’s experiencing a slow growth economy,” CBIA economist Pete Gioia said today.

“Overall, businesses see conditions continuing as stable, with hiring slowly on the mend, a slight increase in capital investments, and improving credit availability.”

Finding new customers was the major concern for businesses (31%) during the quarter, while 21% listed a shortage in skilled workers, followed by taxes (20%).

Other survey findings:
• 51% say China’s stock market correction will have a negative impact on their business
• 47% anticipate problems stemming from the Greek fiscal crisis, 39% from Puerto Rico’s financial issues, and 38% from Congress’ failure to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank
• 51% said the state’s lending climate was average, with 28% calling it good or excellent
• 80% were able to address their borrowing needs during the quarter
“The state’s credit environment continues to improve, and companies can plan on lending institutions being ready to help when the time comes,” said John Patrick, Jr., CEO and president of Farmington Bank.

The 2015 CBIA/Farmington Bank 2nd Quarter Economic and Credit Availability Survey was emailed to 1,585 Connecticut business leaders in July 2015. A total of 203 responded, for a 12.8% response rate and a margin of error of +/- 7%.