Monday Report: Economic outlook improved as analysts see no double-dip, increased capital investments

Good Morning! Occupy Wall Street has apparently migrated up to Nyack, of all places – more proof that people need to find more constructive things to do with their lives. In a Journal News photo of the “protest” in Nyack, there are at least three people with signs that have some version of “Expose the 9/11 Cover-Up.” If anyone can explain to me what that has to do with the big financial players on Wall Street, I’m all ears.

So in an otherwise quiet morning on the Westchester front, I offer a brief take on why analysts have cooled to the prospect of another recession:

Driving the Day: In a survey conducted by consulting firm Deloitte of nearly 700 executives from mid-sized firms (meaning those with between $50 million and $1 billion in annual revenue), more than 75 percent of those surveyed say they plan to either maintain or boost capital investment over the next year. Also of note, 40 percent of those queried say they plan to hire workers, albeit while keeping an eye out for people with specific skill sets.

Local Angle: I talked about this in my last post, so I’ll keep it short here, but business confidence in Westchester is at a new low for the post-recession crowd, according to the Business Council of Westchester / DataKey Consulting Business Confidence Index.

Many of the county’s small businesses – which comprise 70 percent of the total firms in Westchester – do not fit into $50 million to $1 billion in annual revenue category that Deloitte looked in to in its own survey. Those local small firms are struggling with the exceedingly high cost of doing business in Westchester, something that we will continue to look into over the next several weeks at the Business Journal. Things ranging from health care to unemployment insurance to taxes are pricing small businesses out of Westchester, and until mandate relief becomes a reality business owners will continue to struggle.  

For the full story on the BCW/DataKey Business Confidence Index, see here.

For a look at whether mandate relief is coming from Albany, see here.

National Outlook: For the first time in months, analysts are revising GDP projections upwards rather than downwards, with Bloomberg News reporting this morning that a number of economists are predicting 2.5 percent GDP growth during the third quarter (rather than 2.0 percent growth, which was the previous consensus). See the full article here. What this means, the analysts say, is that chances of a double-dip recession are, well, dipping. High-fives all around!




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