Categorized | Business

2012 BOSS survey find economic optimism


Results of this year’s first BOSS – Business Outlook and Sentiment Survey – of 400 business leaders on all major Hawaiian Islands, finds that revenues and profits at Hawaii businesses are up strongly and optimism remains high, overall, for the local economy in the coming year. On the flip side, hiring remains slow.

QMark Research, a division of the Anthology Marketing Group, does the BOSS twice a year for Hawaii Business magazine.

“The BOSS is Hawaii’s top survey of local business leaders and a vital measure of Hawaii’s economy – where it has been and where it is headed,” said Steve Petranik, editor of Hawaii Business. “This year’s survey points to an optimistic view of the year ahead, which is a good sign. If business leaders are optimistic, they are more likely to expand their businesses, hire more employees and give raises to existing employees. However, in the bad news category, hiring does remain slow, with a small percentage of companies planning to substantially increase spending in the coming year.”

Survey findings include:

* Revenues and profits at Hawaii businesses are up strongly. Forty-four percent of companies say revenue is up in the past year and 33 percent say profit is up.

* Optimism remains high for the Hawaii economy, overall, in the coming year, but that optimism has remained relatively steady for two-and-a-half years without increasing.

* Hiring remains low, with only 16 percent of companies surveyed saying that they have added staff in the past year.

* 13 percent of companies surveyed plan to substantially increase spending. Meanwhile, 24 percent of companies plan to continue cutting costs.

One of the major trends, as highlighted by the BOSS survey, is that businesses are experiencing strong gains in revenue and profit, but not similar increases in employment. This survey shows a 16-point jump in the revenue index and a 15-point jump in the profit index. However, the labor index only experienced a 6-point increase.

“Although businesses, overall, are experiencing greater profits and revenues, the slight gains in employment may be due to a more cautious attitude caused by the constant fluctuations of our local and national economic situations,” said Barbara Ankersmit, president of QMark Research.

Each time the BOSS is conducted, a specific industry is examined more closely in addition to the survey of all businesses.

The retail sector was chosen for this edition of BOSS:

* The performance of the retail sector was stronger than all other Hawaii businesses on every measure: revenue, profit, jobs and future spending plans.

* 41 percent of Hawaii consumers surveyed said they had increased their online spending during the 2011 Christmas shopping season.

* 53 percent of Hawaii retailers say that they now have a website that offers products for sale in order to cater to the trend above.

Four hundred random interviews were conducted by telephone from April 11 to April 23, 2012. In each case, QMark spoke with the company’s owner, CEO or other senior executive.

The companies were stratified based on number of employees:

Very small: Businesses with 3 to 9 employees
Small: 10 to 49
Medium: 50 to 99
Large: 100 or more

A targeted sample of 100 businesses in each size sector was the goal. In this edition of BOSS, 101 businesses in the retail industry were surveyed.

The overall data was weighted to reflect the proportion that each company size represents in the Hawaii workforce, as reported by the state Department of Labor.

A sample of this size (n=400) has a margin of error of +/- 4.90 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Anthology Marketing Group is Hawaii’s largest integrated marketing practice with roots going back more than 50 years. The group is comprised of McNeil Wilson Communications, Laird Christianson Advertising, Anthology Digital and QMark Research.

As a full-service firm with more than 100 staff, Anthology offers clients a holistic approach to marketing with industry-leading practices in public relations, advertising, web and interactive marketing, and research.

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