Business Leaders for Michigan survey: CEOs a bit more upbeat

Posted on January 28, 2011

Michigan executives have grown somewhat more optimistic about the state’s near-term economic prospects, according to a fourth-quarter survey conducted by the CEO group Business Leaders for Michigan.

Results from the quarterly survey of 75 top executives found that 33 percent think Michigan’s economy will improve over the next six months, compared with 10 percent who held that belief in the third quarter.

However, executives still are not as optimistic about Michigan’s next six months as they are the nation’s. Forty-seven percent of respondents said they expect improvement in the national economy in the next six months.

Looking out over the next 18 months, 60 percent of CEOs think Michigan’s economy will get better, up from 49 percent in the third-quarter survey.

Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed predict hiring increases in Michigan in the next six months, largely unchanged from the third-quarter survey.

“The economy, both in the U.S. and Michigan, is getting better,” Business Leaders President and CEO Doug Rothwell said in a news release.

“But this will be a modest recovery by historical standards, and Michigan will most likely lag that forecast if we don’t make significant policy changes.

“That means getting our fiscal house in order, reducing business taxes to make us more competitive, reducing regulations that exceed federal standards and refocusing economic development programs on helping existing Michigan businesses.”