CEOs See The Light

Posted on Jul 1, 2009 :: Features
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Northeast Wisconsin’s economy may be on the rebound, according to a survey of business owners and chief executive officers.

The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse survey measures current economic conditions compared to three months ago as well as what business leaders think will happen in the coming three months. At the end of the first quarter of 2009, the survey recorded an 80.5 score – up from its all-time low of 63.8 recorded at the end of 2008. A score of 100 is considered neutral so anything below 100 means there are more negative views than positive when it comes to the economy.

For the first three months of 2009, 19 percent of regional business leaders said the economy was improving while 43 percent said it was getting worse. In their specific industries, 16 percent said business was getting better while 41 percent reported things were worse. Fourteen percent reported an increase in revenues while 50 percent reported a decline.

Thoughts on the second quarter of 2009 are more optimistic. For the period of April through June, 30 percent of business leaders believe the economy will improve while 23 percent think more declines are coming. In addition, 36 percent of CEOs believe revenues will increase during that time period while 28 percent think revenues will continue to decline.

The Pulse survey recorded its highest ever number of 137.4 in the fourth quarter of 2003. Since then, it has gone downhill, including the past seven quarters registering a score under 100.

The Nicolet Bank Business Pulse is a quarterly study of chief executive officers and business leaders in the New North counties of Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano and Winnebago counties as well as Menominee, Mich. The survey was conducted between April 27 and May 4 by IntellectualMarketing, LLC.