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Consumer Spending Level Worries NJ Businesses

Last year, New Jersey business leaders cited burdensome regulations as their top concern in the annual New Jersey Business Climate Survey conducted by the State Chamber of Commerce and ParenteBeard. The newest poll released Wednesday revealed that business leaders are now most worried about whether consumer spending will grow enough in the next year.

Zoonar RF, ThinkStock

“I was surprised by the consumer spending number,” said Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. “Obviously it’s a concern because it hits the economy. It impacts the economy and probably talks about the health of the economy.”

The survey also showed that over half of the respondents have a negative view of Obamacare. Almost one in three respondents (32 percent) said the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) has already hurt their business, and 20 percent think it will hinder their business going forward. Only 8 percent said the ACA has helped or will help their company.

“That’s not a good sign at all,” Bracken said. “It’s a very bad sign. It’s such a huge issue that’s had so much controversy.”

A significant percentage of business titans are optimistic about the next 12 months. Three-quarters said they expect their revenues to increase or at least stay level over the next year.

“The fact that they’re projecting revenue increases in very positive,” Bracken explained. “Where they’re going to get it I don’t know because we didn’t drill down that far enough.”

Almost nine-in-ten expect their companies to maintain or increase staff this year. Thirty-five percent expect the state economy to be better next winter. Twenty-six percent said they expect it to get worse.

More than half (55 percent) said they do not want to see another Super Bowl in this state.


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