Business confidence turns positive in Colorado for 1st time in 2 years

Business confidence in Colorado is surging and has turned positive for the first time in two years as concerns over inflation and recession ease, according to the Leeds Business Confidence Index from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Looking ahead to the second and third quarters, the 178 panelists surveyed reported a positive outlook for the national economy, state economy, industry sales, profits, hiring plans, and capital expenditure. That hasn’t happened since mid-2022, when high inflation came to dominate the headlines.

“A year ago when we were talking about this report it was pretty negative,” said Richard Wobbekind, a senior economist at the Leeds School of Business during a press call Tuesday morning.

Wobbekind said he remembers thinking at the time that the data didn’t support the level of pessimism surveys were capturing and that business leaders should be more confident. Now that confidence has returned dramatically.

A score above 50 on the index indicates a positive outlook, while one below 50 a negative one. The overall index increased from 45.3 in the first quarter to 53.7 for the second quarter and 53 for the third. All six categories in the index increased year-over-year and entered positive territory.

When asked to explain their improved outlook, respondents cited general economic conditions, politics, including the upcoming election, and interest rates. Those topics were top of mind, both positive and negative, among respondents.

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