NJ Business Optimism Declines After Sandy
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 16, 2013
Hurricane Sandy is having an impact on New Jersey’s business outlook.
Most of the businesses surveyed by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce say they expect it will take one to three years for the Garden State economy to recover from the storm.
Chamber president Tom Bracken says about 25 percent of the companies are now less optimistic about the business climate, a sharp increase from the six percent who had that view in May.
“You got to remember seven months ago Sandy hadn’t hit, the fiscal cliff items weren’t as prominent as they are now, and we’re that much closer to the health care cost uncertainties which businesses don’t like.”
Even with all those concerns, Bracken says 40 percent of the chamber members expect their company will increase their workforce this year.
“62 percent say that their revenues are going to grow over last year and that’s a pretty healthy number. So if you have 62 of the people saying they’re going to have revenue increases, that’s somehow going to relate to job increases.”
Bracken says the storm has helped Governor Christie get high marks from Chamber members.
“There was 77 percent of the people leaning or definitively saying they would vote for him for reelection. Probably the most dramatic number was the rating for management of Hurricane Sandy. 83 percent have him an excellent rating.”
57 percent of Chamber members say they’d support Christie running for President in 2016.