County says business confidence is slowly growing

Posted on February 18, 2010 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Encouraged by an uptick in performance, Sonoma County business executives are regaining confidence in the economy but still predict a slow, steady recovery.
According to the county’s Winter Business Confidence Report, confidence improved 9.6% from Summer 2009 as executives registered their first positive rating since the Fall of 2007. The report also said The Business Performance Index (BPI) for Sonoma County showed a 7.9% increase.
The report was released this week by The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB), in partnership with the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board.
According to Ben Stone, EDB executive director, executives expect slow growth for the economy in the short term. Local business expects to face roughly the same conditions in the local economy over the next six months.
Executives in the Agriculture and Technology industries reported the highest levels of business confidence. The figure for the Hospitality sector was among the lowest.
Stone said that local executives’ performance predictions matched their forecast for stabilizing economic condition. The majority of respondents predicted full-time employees, investments,  wages,  and net profits to remain about the same over the next six months.
When asked when they expect the economy to get back on track, 49% of the respondents said one to two years, and another 35% predicted it would take two to three years. Fourteen percent felt the recovery would come within 12 months.