Anchorage business confidence dips slightly, still up from 2011

Anchorage business confidence is down slightly from late 2012, but still higher than 2011, according to the latest Business Confidence Index (BCI) report issued by the Anchorage Economic Development Corp. The purpose of the BCI survey, conducted by AEDC with help from the McDowell Group, is to identify various factors that affect Anchorage business and the overall economy in order to assess business confidence and gauge expectations for 2014. With a maximum reading of 100, the BCI for 2013 is 60.2, indicating a generally optimistic outlook among Anchorage businesses.

A total of 227 businesses and organizations completed the survey, responding to questions about their organization’s performance, perceived barriers to growth and their opinion of the overall economies in Anchorage and Alaska. The top five sectors represented in this year’s survey include finance, insurance and real estate; professional services; transportation; nonprofit organizations; and construction and maintenance.

“65 percent of respondents reported an increase in net profits in 2013 and more than half think the Alaska economy will fare better in 2014 than in 2013,” commented Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC. “This continues the positive outlook trend we’ve been seeing since 2008.”

Most Anchorage business respondents expect their gross sales to increase in 2014, while 46 percent of the respondents expect to hire more workers this coming year, compared to 52 percent last year. There are similar expectations for capital expenditures in 2014 with 49 percent of respondents expecting small to large increases, compared to 52 percent last year.

Respondents were also asked to rate a list of potential barriers to business growth, with the top five barriers identified as the condition of the state economy, the condition of the national economy, the availability of a professional or technical workforce, health insurance and federal regulations.

Download the full report (PDF file) sponsored by Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska here: 2014 AEDC Business Confidence Index Report