The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation released the findings of its quarterly business leader’s survey today.  The Quarter 4 findings and 2017 wrap up reveal the following:

  • The statewide Prosperity Pulse jumped from 5.0 in Q3 to 5.4 in Q4 and is projected to keep moving upward.
  • The cause of the upward movement can be attributed to the federal tax reform – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was finalized right before our survey was distributed.
  • The cost of healthcare and attracting quality talent remain the top concerns of business leaders.
  • 74% of leaders are optimistic about the immediate future of their business.
  • We noticed a heightened concern with federal regulations in the transportation industry – this is no surprise given the recent federal electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.
  • We asked leaders what incentives they offer employees for retention: 45% give cash bonuses, 19% offer flexible scheduling, 16% plan special events and 12% award extra days off.

The Prosperity Pulse is presented on a 1 to 10 scale[1] and measures profits, workforce, capital investments and expenses to aggregate an index.  Survey was conducted between 12/30/2017 and 1/19/2018 and over 400 responses were received.

Quarter 4 closed on an economic high note for most of Ohio’s industries.  The retail sector was especially positive with an 89% rating the economic climate as good to excellent.  The National Retail Federation announced that the 2017 holiday retail sales were the best in ten years.  Jack Kleinhenz, Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation Board Member and Chief Economist for NRF said that several factors provided a strong base for spending.  “The economy was in great shape going into the holiday season, and retailers had the right mix of inventory, pricing and staffing to help them connect with shoppers very efficiently,” Kleinhenz said. “Strong employment and more money in consumers’ pockets along with the news of tax cuts clearly helped with the pace of shopping.  The market conditions were right, retailers were doing what they know how to do, and it all worked”

Read 4Q Prosperity Pulse Report

[1] A high score of 9.1 – 10 would mean Ohio businesses were thriving and flourishing and economic health would be robust, while a low score of 1 – 2 would mean they’re encountering significant challenges and the economic health would be weak.