NJ business owners shared their views on economy in 2023. Were they upbeat or not?

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Are business owners more optimistic about New Jersey’s economy this year?

As expected, there were many of them Annual survey It was released Monday by the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Of the 503 respondents to the trade group’s 65th annual Business Outlook Survey, 89% said they had been highly or moderately affected by inflation in the past 12 months, compared with 93%. Research done last yearAt a time when inflation was at a decade high.

The survey combines a look at the past 12 months and an outlook for the coming year for New Jersey businesses. The group called this year’s survey a “mixed bag of results” from businesses.

“While it’s clear that businesses are still struggling with inflation and additional costs, last year seems to mark the low-water mark we were hoping for,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michelle Sikerka. Monday.

The survey found that 68% of employers feel that state lawmakers did not do enough to address business opportunities in the past year. In the year A 2022 survey found that 75% of businesses felt this way.

Similarly, only 4% of respondents felt Governor Phil Murphy and state lawmakers were doing enough to address business affordability over the past 12 months.

Leading up to the election, state leaders unveiled affordable plans to help the state’s seniors, such as the ANCHOR property tax relief program and StayNJ.

But groups like NJBIA said programs like ANCHOR only benefited homeowners and renters, not businesses.

All representatives of Murphy’s office, which is controlled by Democrats, and the majority offices of the Assembly and Senate could not immediately be reached for comment Monday morning.

A look at the economy

According to the survey, 45% of business owners listed the state’s economy as fair and 24% as poor. In a study last year48% of employers rated New Jersey’s economy as fair and 30% as poor.

But 29 percent of business owners said they were experiencing a slowdown, compared to 24 percent last year, the survey found.

Staffing was an issue for businesses: 70% of respondents struggled to find staff this year, compared to 55% last year.

Among the top three reasons are a lack of candidates and applicants to fill vacant positions, a lack of candidates with the required skills and education, and the inability of employers to provide the compensation or benefits requested.

Purchase and expense

Regarding profit and loss:

  • In the year By 2024, 37% of businesses believe they will make a profit, while 28% say they won’t
  • In the year In 2023, they reported a 32% profit and a 44% loss
  • In the year By 2022, 36% of businesses reported a profit and 40% a loss

“Small businesses face significant headwinds when trying to turn a profit,” Sikerka said in the report.

Regarding the sale:

  • 43% expect an increase in 2024, 26% project less sales
  • By 2023, 41 percent of businesses will grow.
  • 51 percent of businesses will grow by 2022.

The survey found that 61% of business owners increased their prices last year, compared to 70% the previous year. 3 percent of businesses said they have cut prices this year.

The survey officially begins on Cyber ​​Monday and after Black Friday, the holiday shopping season.

Nationally, retailers reported a record-breaking $9.8 billion on Black Friday. According to Adobe analysis.

Analysts at the National Retail Federation forecast that consumers will spend between $957.3 billion and $966.6 billion in November and December this year — one of the slowest in years.

Daniel Munoz covers business, consumer affairs, energy and the economy for NorthJersey.com and The Record.

Email: munozd@northjersey.com; Twitter:@danielmunoz100

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