PULLMAN, Wash. – Overall business conditions in the Seattle area improved slightly in the third quarter with a majority of Seattle business executives reporting an increase in sales and hiring, according to a survey conducted by Washington State University.In the third quarter survey conducted by the WSU School of Economics Sciences’ IMPACT Center and the Seattle Business Executives Association, the number of firms hiring employees increased. More executives reported that they hired new employees during the third quarter than at any other time in 2010. The number of executives reporting that sales had increased during the third quarter also rose.
“Overall, key indices show more optimism than there has been for over a year,” said Andrew Cassey of the WSU School of Economic Sciences. He noted that the upturn in overall market optimism expressed by the executives surveyed began the first quarter of 2009 and “accelerated most rapidly during 2010.”
Uncertainty about the economy continued to be the No. 1 concern of those surveyed, followed by health care expenses, domestic competition and government regulation.
The business executives surveyed also said that the recession that began in 2007 didn’t decrease opportunities for innovation in their specific area of business, but noted that uncertainty about the economy is causing them to delay or bypass those opportunities. Instead, they said they are increasing their cash reserves.
In a related question, most of those surveyed said that they would pursue new innovations once the economy improves.
Complete survey results are available at www.impact.wsu.edu/survey/EconomicOutlook.html.