Confidence levels in the business conditions of the Georgia economy remain high and participants think most upcoming challenges are related to business growth, according to a recent survey of Georgia CEO readers working in the state of Georgia.
The Business Confidence Survey is prepared for Georgia CEO by the Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER), a subdivision of the Business Innovation Group (BIG) at Georgia Southern University. A convenience sampling technique is used in the survey, and respondents are asked to rate their concerns over upcoming or ongoing issues that may affect the growth and profitability of Georgia businesses.
“If we look at the overall impression of the current environment, we see that respondents are confident about the overall business environment moving forward,” said Ben McKay, CBAER assistant director. “The concerns expressed most by those surveyed are finding, hiring and retaining good employees. In total, 94 percent view business conditions improving or unchanged, and we see that successfully managing and maintaining growth is at the forefront of business leaders’ minds.”
Growth indicators — such as an increase in the percentage of participants with positive sentiments related to the volume of business, sales, financial health, profitability and access to capital — are improving when respondents are asked for their future outlook. The strongest indicator was the volume of business, which 60 percent of all participants expect to grow in the future. That figure is up from 51 percent compared to the first quarter of 2019. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they expect to see growth in sales, up from 47 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Optimism is shrinking about hiring quality employees, which is dampening an otherwise overall positive outlook. Less than 45 percent of respondents said they see these situations improving over the next quarter.
“Maintaining good relationships with key employees will be crucial moving forward — especially as businesses manage growing sales numbers and client bases,” said McKay. “It will be important to have trusted, reliable employees managing growth while looking for quality players to add to the team.”
BIG and CBAER are components of the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University. Georgia Southern is a research university with more than 25,000 students on three campuses in Statesboro, Hinesville and Savannah. The questionnaire was emailed to subscribers of each of the 12 Georgia CEO daily newsletters. Georgia CEO publishes newsletters in Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Middle Georgia, Newnan, Rome, Savannah, Tifton and Valdosta. The survey was open from April 2-19. In total, 102 valid responses were recorded.