The Salt Lake Chamber released the second-quarter results of the Salt Lake Chamber’s 2018 CEOutlook survey.
The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah business executives. As an authoritative business survey on economic sentiment in Utah, this quarterly survey seeks to provide a forward-looking view of the Utah economy. While the survey is still in its early phases, the results could help business and community leaders make informed decisions about likely future economic conditions. These and other survey results will be tracked and compared to overall economic conditions to assess the predictive power of the CEOutlook.
“This quarter’s CEOutlook shows that in many cases executives are optimistic about our economy,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “However, there are also clear signs that the collaborative and problem-solving nature that has made us great is needed more than ever. Executives are concerned about rising costs, detrimental actions on trade, an acute need for talented labor and tackling our housing affordability challenges.”
According to the second-quarter 2018 CEOutlook survey, 60% of executives believe Utah’s economy is somewhat better than just six months ago. The study also shows Utah executives have a positive outlook about Utah’s future economy. 49% feel that economic conditions in Utah will be somewhat better in the next six months. Additionally, a majority of executives are optimistic about their own industry growth with 49% reporting that their industry will perform somewhat or significantly better six months from now. Factors that executives believe could have a negative impact on Utah’s economy include the tight labor market, increasing housing prices, rising interest rates and the recent actions on trade and tariffs.
“I’m struck by the difference or gap between executives’ views about current economic conditions compared to six months ago v. economic conditions six months from now,” explained Natalie Gochnour, director of Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and chief economist at the Salt Lake Chamber. “I read this to mean that Utah CEOs believe rising interest costs, tight labor, rising housing prices, tariffs and other issues will weave a more cautionary economic tale by the end of the calendar year.”