Companies are increasingly confident the economy will grow at a
modest pace over the next year and are hiring more, according to
a survey of business economists.
Nearly one-third of the economists surveyed by the National
Association for Business Economics said their companies added
jobs in the April-June quarter, according to a report released
Monday. That's the highest percentage in nearly two years. And
39 percent expect their firms will hire more in the next six
months. That's near the two-year high of 40 percent reached in
the January-March quarter.
The hiring pickup occurred even though sales and profit growth
slowed in the second quarter.
Optimism about future economic growth increased. Nearly three-
quarters of the survey respondents forecast growth of 2.1
percent or more over the next 12 months. That's up from two-
thirds in the first quarter survey, released in April, and the
most in a year.
The quarterly survey's results echo much of the recent data
tracking the economy. Growth has been slow in the past nine
months, but employers have added jobs at a healthy pace. Many
economists anticipate that the steady hiring will help
accelerate growth in the second half of this year.
The NABE surveyed 65 of its member economists between June 18
and July 2. The economists work for companies from a variety of
industries, including manufacturing, transportation and
utilities, finance, retail and other services.
Among the findings:
— Only about 35 percent of the respondents said sales at their
firms increased in the second quarter. That's sharply lower than
the 55 percent who reported rising sales in the first quarter.
And 15 percent said sales fell, up from 9 percent in the first
— Profit growth also slowed: Only 21 percent of respondents said
profit margins increased last quarter, down from 29 percent in
— Only 19 percent of economists said their firms were raising
wages and salaries, down from 31 percent in April and the lowest
proportion since October.
— A small but increasing minority of respondents say that
government spending cuts and tax increases have hurt their
businesses. Twenty-six percent of the economists said their
firms were negatively impacted, up from only 16 percent in
April. Still, 74 percent said the government policies had no
impact on their businesses, though that's down from 79 percent
three months earlier.
What kind of moron would try and spin bad numbers like this
using a survey?
Oh yeah, an ABC employed moron.