Salt Lake Chamber CEOutlook 2021-Q1 highlights cresting confidence across industries and individual firm expectations
The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook released today shows the economy flashing green with the index increasing significantly from 58.9 in 2020-Q4 to 75.3 for 2021-Q1. This is the second-highest jump in confidence that executives have reported, as growing positive expectations related to continued basement level unemployment, rising profits, and favorable overall economic conditions in Utah. The CEOutlookis a statewide economic survey of Utah business executives conducted by the Salt Lake Chamber in partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.
“Utah’s economic recovery and growth continue to lead the nation,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “The indicators show a strong, positive trend that is expected to continue, especially as the incumbent challenges of growth return in full measure. Many CEOs shared their worry about inflation becoming a major economic concern in the coming months. This, coupled with the rising cost of housing, will be two of the most important economic challenges on the immediate horizon.”
According to the survey, confidence has reached its highest value on record since recording began in Q1, 2017. The index is undergirded by strong positive expectations about Utah’s economic conditions six months from now. Further, an increase in the specific industry and individual firm expectations saw double-digit growth from the prior quarter.
“Utah CEOs report a much more positive view of the Utah economy in the first quarter of 2021,” said Natalie Gochnour, Director of Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute and chief economist at the Salt Lake Chamber. “Utah’s economic and public health performance during the pandemic continue to lead among most, if not all, states. We also see labor market conditions turning quite favorable with an end to the contraction in jobs and continuing low unemployment rates.”
While all signs point to a positive overall outlook, specific concerns of respondents include the strength of Utah’s state-level leadership, COVID-19 vaccination rates, our tight labor market, and the importance of taxation policies on broader public optimism. In addition to growth challenges such as transportation, housing and school capacity.