Ohio Businesses See Continued Economic Improvement, Share Concerns About Further Disruption and Hiring Woes
May 27, 2021
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Research Foundation released the findings of its quarterly Prosperity Pulse business leader survey today. The 1st Quarter findings of 2021 show:
- The statewide Prosperity Pulse Index measured at 112, a rebound from the 4th quarter reading of 93.8, but still trailing pre-pandemic results from 2018-19.
- Readings across all but one of the Index components rose in the 1st Quarter, as business leaders see re-emerging economic activity due to easing of state and federal government restrictions.
- Roughly half of all respondents now have a positive outlook for Ohio’s economy, a 60% increase from the previous survey after the end of 2020.
- Economic Uncertainty and the Cost of Healthcare continue to lead the top issues of concern, while Workforce Issues joins the top five as businesses look to increase hiring to meet demand.
The Prosperity Pulse index shows business leaders see encouraging signs about an economic resurgence in the wake of the pandemic. We surveyed over 400 business leaders across Ohio and found that the easing of federal and state restrictions, which are due in large part to ongoing vaccine distribution and immunization rates, has bolstered consumer confidence and demand for goods and services and given hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
“Business leaders in Ohio clearly believe that while the public health response to the pandemic can change quickly based on progress with vaccines, the economy is continuing to grind its way back to pre-pandemic activity levels,” stated Justin Barnes, Executive Director of the Ohio Chamber Research Foundation. “Our survey shows businesses are hopeful that we can sustain this momentum and avoid a regression into more lockdowns and economic disruption.”
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 April-May, 2021, and 408 responses were received.