The confidence of Colorado business leaders remains optimistic, increasing slightly going into the second quarter of 2015, according to the Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI) released today by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.
For the past eight quarters, confidence has been more stable than ever in the index’s 11-year history.
“People are not only evaluating the economy and saying, ‘things look good,’ but they’re very confident quarter after quarter that their beliefs are very solid,” said economist Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds School’s Business Research Division, which conducts the LBCI. “They’re on firm ground. This really bodes well for not only just the next quarter or two, but for the longer term.”
Just before the second quarter of 2015, the LBCI posted an overall reading of 61.7, up from 60.8 at the top of the first quarter.
Expectations measured positive -- at 50 or higher -- for all of the metrics within the index, which include the national economy, state economy, industry sales, industry profits, capital expenditures and hiring plans. The favorable standings represent 14 consecutive quarters of positive expectations, according to the LBCI.
Underscoring stability, the standard deviation of the LBCI -- or variation from the average reading -- has been a mere 0.8 over the past eight quarters compared with 7.9 each previous quarter in the report’s history
Overall, optimism in sales expectations is the highest metric in the index at 64.3, up from 61.8 last quarter.
The reading on hiring expectations, which was the least bullish last quarter, represents the biggest boost this quarter. It’s at 62.1 heading into the second quarter of 2015, up by 3.9 points from 58.2 last quarter.
Metrics on capital expenditures are the least bullish and decreased very slightly to 59.3, down from 59.4 last quarter.
Profits expectations are at 60.7 just before the second quarter, up from 59 last quarter.
At its lowest rate since January 2008, Colorado’s unemployment level held steady year-over-year at 4.2 percent in February 2015. This compares with a national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in February 2015.
Year-over-year employment growth was recorded in every Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of the state with Greeley (+8.2 percent) seeing the biggest increase. Greeley is followed by the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield (+4.2 percent) and Pueblo (+3.9 percent) MSAs.
Employment growth also was recorded in the Fort Collins-Loveland (+2.2 percent), Boulder (+1.9 percent), Colorado Springs (+1.8 percent) and Grand Junction (+1.8 percent) MSAs.
Statewide, the biggest employment gains in February compared with the same month in 2014 were in the construction, mining and logging, and education and health services sectors.
For more information about the Leeds School’s Business Research Division and the second quarter report visit http://leeds.colorado.edu/brd.
Richard Wobbekind, Leeds School of Business, 303-492-1147
Brian Lewandowski, Leeds School of Business, 303-492-3307
Elizabeth Lock, CU-Boulder media relations, 303-492-3117