The National Association for Business Economics has released survey results for a study on business conditions. The survey reflects fourth quarter results for 2007 and an outlook for the near future. Survey results reflect the following attitudes by respondents:
Growth in demand for goods and services at respondents’ firms was positive but sluggish in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Tight credit market conditions appear to be having a more limited impact on the economy compared with the October survey. Two-thirds of respondents stated that tightening credit conditions have not affected their business, while just over a quarter reported negative impacts.
Just under half of the respondents expect a further substantial slowdown in housing markets and only three percent do not expect any further slowdown.
“The January NABE Industry Survey shows a striking dichotomy,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist, Associated General Contractors of America. “Compared to the October survey, respondents are much gloomier about the outlook for the economy as a whole but are more upbeat about their own firms’ pricing, capital spending and hiring plans. Although nearly all panelists expect the housing slowdown to continue, fewer than in October expect their business to be affected. Neither tight credit conditions nor the decline of the dollar has affected most respondents. For the 18th consecutive quarter, there were more panelists reporting rising profit margins than falling margins, even though slightly fewer firms raised prices last quarter and cost pressures for materials and wages remained steady.”