Citing the effects of federal tax reform at the end of 2017, top business executives expect both the U.S. and state economies to maintain growth in the months ahead.
In the latest quarterly poll by the Detroit-based Business Leaders for Michigan, 79 percent of respondents held a positive view of the U.S. economy over the next six months. That’s about the same as results from the prior survey three months ago and twice the percentage at the end of 2017 that had a positive view of the economy.
Business Leaders for Michigan consists of top corporate executives and university presidents in the state. Every executive answering the second quarter survey expected the economy to do the same or perform better in the second half of 2018.
“Most of our members continue to believe the overall economy is in very good shape and think it will continue to improve once the full impact of federal tax reform occurs,” Business Leaders for Michigan President and CEO Doug Rothwell said. “Nearly half our members plan to add jobs and increase investment in Michigan over the next six months. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen that level of growth.”
Looking longer term, nearly two-thirds of executives expect the U.S. economy to improve in the next 18 months. The rest expect it to maintain its present pace.
Respondents were less optimistic about Michigan’s economy. Fewer than six in 10 executives expect the state economy to improve in the next six months, down from 74 percent in the first quarter. A little more than one-third expect the state to do better over the next 18 months, which compares to 54 percent in the first quarter.
Rothwell attributed the results to the upcoming elections in Michigan.
“Not knowing who the next governor and legislature will be creates some uncertainty for business leaders,” he said.