Confidence in Congress continues to plummet and fears of Congressional gridlock make businesses pessimistic.
Based on the McDonald Hopkins 2012 Business Outlook Survey, 64 percent of business owners and executives are pessimistic about whether Congress will pass legislation to improve business conditions.
Last year, 25 percent were pessimistic. According to the more than 500 respondents, 66 percent expect U.S. business conditions to improve modestly, although last year, 77 percent expected modest improvements.
What about their own companies? Here again, optimism has declined. Fifty-five percent expect business conditions in their own organizations to improve modestly compared to 61 percent in 2011. There were many comments like this one: “The biggest negative factor is the uncertainty caused by gridlock in Congress.”
After the 2010 election, an associate of ours said he favored “gridlock,” but the results of that were apparent in the way the impasse over extending the debt ceiling negatively affected the markets and the world economy.
Carl J. Grassi, president of McDonald Hopkins, noted that “a significant number of respondents took the time to write comments, many of which reflect their angst about the future while providing insightful ideas about how to solve the country’s economic problems.”
The 10-question survey was sent via email to clients and friends of the law firm during the first three weeks in January. Most of the survey participants are located in the states of Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida—the states where McDonald Hopkins has offices.
The three greatest challenges facing the business community are increasing health care costs (43%), retaining profit margins (40%) and federal state and local regulations (39%).
Click below to read more about the results of the 2012 McDonald Hopkins Business Outlook Survey: