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Hoosier business leaders guarded about the future
6/19/2012 3:00:00 PM
By OUR VIEW
Hoosier business leaders are guarded when it comes to predicting how their companies will perform over the next 18 months.
On the plus side, they predict fewer layoffs. On the downside they cite education as an area where the state least favorably compares with our neighbors.
The business leaders' opinions were reported in a story written by Susan Orr, a reporter at the Evansville Courier & Press.
The results were from the 2012 Indiana CEO Survey, a joint project of Inside INdiana Business, law firm Ice Miller and Butler University.
The respondents, 552 chief executive officers representing a range of industries in the Hoosier state, weren't as upbeat as we would have wished, but there are nuggets of hope that we believe will develop into positive economic news for Indiana.
In one part of the survey, respondents were asked about the likelihood of pursuing specific business activities over the next 18 months.
As compared with the 2011 survey, respondents said they are less likely to lay off workers.
A greater number of respondents also said they plan to fill open positions and add jobs in the next 18 months.
Also as compared with last year, respondents said they are more likely to engage in outsourcing and expansions outside Indiana.
Other survey highlights
When asked about the challenges and issues they face, respondents named corporate reputation and customer loyalty and retention as top issues.
They said global issues are of the lowest concern, though the survey's authors said this might be because many of the respondents work at smaller companies without a global presence.
When asked how Indiana compares with its neighboring states, respondents cited cost of living as the state's biggest advantage. They cited education as the area in which Indiana least favorably compares with its neighbors.
New this year, respondents also were asked about how they expect certain legislative issues to affect their business. Indiana's status as a right-to-work state was the issue respondents believe will have the most positive impact. Right-to-work legislation was passed by state lawmakers earlier this year.
What we see from the survey is guarded optimism about where Indiana business might be headed in the next 18 months.
We've been taught that short and steady steps are the surest way to reach our destination.
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