A recent survey of Pennsylvania business leaders says that almost half expect improved profitability in 2011. The annual poll, conducted by First Niagara Financial Group, includes responses from 872 executives from private businesses throughout Pennsylvania.
Dr. George Evans, research analyst at First Niagara, says that there are significant changes in the report. He says that in Western Pennsylvania 51% of leaders predicted increasing revenues compared to 38% last year.
Evans says that this was the first time they asked business leaders their opinion on government aid and intervention. "Companies said 'look', and this is in the responses, 'we can't rely on government to assist us.' They're not that confident in government assistance at the state and federal levels....The lifeguard of of the businesses happens to be themselves and it's not going to be the state or government."
Evans says that while optimism increased, the survey reported that only half of business leaders are ready to commit to hiring more workers. In Western Pennsylvania only 25% of businesses are planning on increasing their labor force. He says this is because leaders would like to get their companies back on a more stable track before making the commitment to hire people.