After a declining trend in outlook since the high of Q3 2014, results of the latest VBR-EPR Business Conditions Outlook Survey tell a more upbeat story. Vermont’s outlook appears to now be on an “improvement” trend given the responses from this and the previous survey, yet continues to demonstrate that economic conditions overall remain somewhat fragile in many areas of the State and in some parts of Vermont economy.
While the most optimistic industry sector was that of construction, and the least was health care, just under half of respondents indicated a positive outlook on the economy (46 percent). Compared to our colleagues in the Business Roundtable, Vermont companies are predicting higher capital spending plans and a slightly more optimistic employment outlook.
Respondents continue to express concerns with rising health care costs; general uncertainty regarding the change in administrations; finding qualified employees; and, affordability.
Thank you to the 71 percent of members who participated in the survey; you represented 13 of the 14 industry sectors that make up our membership. The next survey will be conducted in April.