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The 11th Providence Business News Business Survey reveals once again that while many executives feel quite good about their own business, they are less sanguine about the rest of the state. And of course, that is a problem.
Respondents to the semi-annual survey of companies in the PBN Top List database set record highs – well more than 50 percent – when asked this summer about net income compared with their last quarter, about their company’s business activity compared with last quarter and about the level of their company’s current orders compared with the last quarter.
For the second survey in a row, nearly 70 percent of respondents said that they expect Rhode Island’s business climate to be better in the next year, resulting in nearly 50 percent saying they plan to hire more workers in the near future, also a record high.
But in the “where the rubber meets the road” category, only about one-quarter of respondents said that they plan to make capital expenditures anytime soon. And here is part of the problem.
Of course, no business can afford to make plans and commit dollars based on wishful thinking. But if no one takes the first step and makes the investment, the state ends up poorer as a result. And that self-perpetuating engine of a healthy economy will never get the chance to raise itself up out of the sickbed to which it has been confined for half a decade. •