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Business survey: Light at end of tunnel

Citizen Staff Writer



Business leaders in Tucson and Arizona seem to see the tiniest glimmer of light at the end of the economic tunnel.

The Compass Bank Business Leaders Confidence Index for the second quarter records a tiny uptick from 32.1 to 33.0. That’s on an index where 50 is the dividing line between an expanding and contracting economy.

That comes after tumbles of 8 to 12 points in every category in the first quarter.

The statewide index noted small increases in five of the seven categories, though Tucson participants differed in their confidence in two categories: state outlook and profits.

The statewide (read Phoenix) and national outlooks hit record lows, 31.7 and 27.8, respectively. But Tucson business leaders who took part in the online survey in early March have slightly increased confidence with their state outlook, which rose from 30.7 to 31.3.

The confidence for profits rose nearly 3 points in Phoenix (35.2 to 38.1), while dropping in Tucson from 33.8 in the first quarter to 32.2 for the second quarter.

Phoenix, Tucson and the non-metro areas all saw upticks in sales, the strongest category across the state, but the Phoenix area has far more confidence, 44.3, than the Old Pueblo at 38.9. And the nonmetro areas nearly reach positive territory with a 48.3 sales index.

Federal rescue efforts and cheap assets may help nudge the economy forward, said University of Arizona economist Marshall Vest.

Compass Bank and the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona have collaborated on the BLCI since spring 2003, but the index is coming to an end this quarter.

Business survey:

Small light at end of economic tunnel


Compass Bank BLCI for Tucson’s expectations first two quarters of 2009.

Category Q2 Q1

Overall 31.3 30.5

Sales 38.9 36.1

Profits 32.2 33.8

Hiring 29.7 28.2

Cap. expenditures 29.1 26.1

State outlook 31.3 30.7

National outlook 26.5 28.3

Arizona BLCI index


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