Providence Business News’ biannual Business Survey has been providing a peek into the mindset of the region’s businesses for a decade now.
When the Great Recession hit, sentiment fell through the floor. As the state experienced a series of economic improvements only to follow them with some slowdowns, the survey reflected the up-and-down feelings of the state’s business leaders.
But starting in 2014, executives in the region seemed to regain their confidence, as continuing improvement in operations led to increased hiring and capital expenditures. It seemed to be a virtuous cycle.
But the current Business Survey shows that the recovery is taking a pause at least, if not a precursor to a slowdown, as sentiment for the future is not as bullish.
Of course, we will not know for a while if this was just a temporary blip to consolidate growth among the region’s businesses or something more ominous. But it is a reminder that the state’s leaders should never take for granted the continuing need to strengthen the region’s businesses with smart public policy.