Study: Philly Business Leaders Bullish on Economy, Hiring in 2016

But labor costs are a big concern.

Johnny Greig/iStock

Johnny Greig/iStock

The stock market is incredibly volatile, oil prices are scary low and the mysterious Chinese economy is freaking out the Wall Street. But business leaders in Philadelphia are unfazed, as a new study predicts that they’re still very optimistic about the region’s economy and their own companies.

In fact, 59 percent said their assessment of the Philadelphia business climate is better in 2016 than in 2015. Less that one quarter (22.5 percent) say it’s the same and just 8.6 percent said 2016 is going to be worse.

The numbers come from Economic Outlook ’16, a survey of 129 members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

When it comes to their own companies, 64.4 percent say business conditions put them in a better place in 2016, while 12.4 percent expect things to stay the same and 11.6 percent say their company will do worse.

Here are a few more stats to consider:

  • 56.6 percent say the rate of new orders will rise in 2016.
  • 67.5 percent expect the rate of sales and revenues to climb in 2016.
  • 76 percent expect wage and benefit costs to rise in 2016.

What are the biggest problems for businesses? It’s Philly, so I’m assuming they’ll say taxes, right? Actually, labor quality was the most pressing issue, as 15.5 percent of respondents identified it as most important. Meanwhile, 14.7 percent answered “domestic competition” while 14 percent said “poor sales.” Just 5.4 percent said taxes were their most important problem.

Here’s a chart showing respondents’ top three most-important problems.

Source: Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

Source: Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce

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