SEATTLE – All major indicators of economic health were flat in the fourth quarter of 2011, yet Seattle business executives indicated they are slightly optimistic about the national economy in 2012, according to a recent survey.
In the latest in a series of surveys conducted by Washington State University School of Economic Sciences and the Seattle Business Executives Association at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011, respondents said they expect higher employment in 2012, but also higher interests rates and inflation. In addition, they said they expect taxes to increase slightly.
“Cumulatively, the results signal an improving economy rather than a hit to business,” said Andrew Cassey, assistant professor in the WSU School of Economic Sciences. He noted that respondents also were optimistic about the state economy, but less so.
Survey respondents also answered questions about the more than 90 tax incentives offered in Washington State. Almost a third indicated they do not take advantage of these incentives.
“One of the most common reasons given for not participating is that the costs of fulfilling the accounting and information technology requirements to capture the tax incentives exceed the monetary benefits of using the incentive,” Cassey said.
Of those firms that do use the state tax incentives, the most popular incentives are business and occupation tax credits, deductions or differential rates, followed by other incentives, and private or personal property tax deductions.
Complete survey results are available at www.impact.wsu.edu/survey/EconomicOutlook.html.