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Ohio Business Leaders Remain Optimistic Despite Turbulent Close to 2020

March 3, 2021

COLUMBUS, OH –The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation released the findings of its quarterly Prosperity Pulse business leader survey today.  The 4th Quarter findings of 2020 show: 

  • The statewide Prosperity Pulse index measured at 93.8, a drop from the 3rd quarter reading of 104 as businesses are uncertain about the timing of economic recovery. 
  • A sharp drop in respondents anticipating a profitable quarter, coupled with lower planned capital investments led to the below-average Index reading. 
  • Plans for future hiring remains a bright spot, with 70% of respondents looking for new hires. 
  • The Cost of Healthcare maintained its position as the most concerning issue to Ohio businesses, followed closely by Economic Uncertainty as the COVID-19 crisis continues into a second year. 

The Prosperity Pulse index retreated slightly from its previous results, slipping ten points to below-average economic conditions overall. We surveyed over 400 business leaders across Ohio and found that the news of vaccines may provide a light at the end of the tunnel, but uncertainty remains about just how long that tunnel may be. 

“The latest Prosperity Pulse results show that while there are encouraging signs regarding COVID-19 vaccines, we are not yet out of the woods,” stated Justin Barnes, Executive Director of the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation. “Business leaders participating in our survey indicated that they remain hopeful for the future, with three-fourths expressing optimism about the future health of their companies but see a tumultuous period in the near-term as they try to understand the impact of vaccines on economic recovery and public health measures impacting their operations.” 

The Prosperity Pulse index is calculated using five forward-looking factors: anticipated profits, anticipated hiring, open/available positions, anticipated capital expenditures and overall business economic outlook. The survey was conducted in January and February 2021, and 434 responses were received. 

4th Quarter Summary 

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