Colorado’s business confidence sees first positive shift in 2 years

Colorado Businesses Feeling More Optimistic About National, State Economies; Hiring and Capital Expenditure Plans Increase as Concerns Over Inflation Ease

Business confidence in Colorado is on the rise, with concerns over inflation and recession easing, according to the Leeds Business Confidence Index from the University of Colorado Boulder. This surge in confidence has marked the first positive outlook in two years. Looking ahead to the second and third quarters, the 178 panelists surveyed reported positive expectations for the national economy, state economy, industry sales, profits, hiring plans, and capital expenditure.

Colorado business leaders showed more optimism about the outlook for the Colorado economy, scoring 54.1, compared to the U.S. economy, which scored a 51. The highest level of optimism was seen in industry sales, with a score of 57.9. Despite initial forecasts predicting a mild recession due to higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve, job growth remained strong in Colorado with 72,700 jobs added in 2023, representing a growth rate of 2.5%.

Business optimism often leads to increased spending and hiring as indicated by the rise in the index for hiring plans from 45.3 in the first quarter to 50.1 in the second and third quarters. However, inflation remains a concern with consumer prices up 3.5% year-over-year in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area in January according to U

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