Tuscaloosa, Alabama (WBRC) – Inflation is hurting us all because we pay more for almost everything. Businesses have reportedly not fared much better.
Our state’s business leaders have a negative view of the economy, a new survey shows.
We spoke with Susannah Robichaux, a socioeconomic analyst fellow at the University of Alabama, who put together the survey.
This is a quarterly business survey conducted by the UA with respondents from business leaders. Once a quarter, they answer six questions. These questions range from their forecasts for the state’s economy to their forecasts for their own sales, hiring and potential profits.
What Robichaux calls the Alabama Business Confidence Index (ABCI) is inflation, rising gasoline prices and a possible recession. Any result below 50 is considered a “negative” outlook. The most recent ABCI showed an index of 48.4.
“Our quarter was the second straight quarter where the index was below 50, suggesting that most business leaders expect some kind of slowdown in the six variables we asked them about,” Robichaux said.
The survey was completed in September 2022, but there was also some positive news among business leaders’ negative economic outlook. 48.4 points is slightly higher than the previous season.
“As a result, businesses are confident about the next quarter (October-December),” Robichaux added. “Their own sales will increase and their hiring will increase relative to last quarter, but we’re seeing them nervous about the Alabama outing and the U.S. outlook.”
But for the average Alabama, Robichaux said it’s not something to lose sleep over and thinks inflation may improve.
Robichaux said now is the time to reduce debt.
“It’s always a good idea to get out of debt if you can, and as we’ve seen grocery store prices and things like that go up, so save what you can do whenever you can. “
Robichaux said it’s too early to say anyone’s view on the first quarter of 2023.
The next survey will be conducted in December 2022.
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