Published: Jan. 2, 2020 By

Colorado business leaders’ optimism improved in the latest edition of the CU Boulder’s Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI). Survey respondents were decidedly negative at the end of 2019 but rose to just above neutral territory to start 2020.

Photo of the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder.

Scenic of the Business/Engineering field with the Leeds School of Business Koelbel building and C4C visible in front of the Flatirons. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

The quarterly report, produced by the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, measures Colorado business leaders’ expectations for the state and national economies, industry sales, industry profits, hiring and business spending. More than 230 business leaders responded to the latest survey, run between Dec. 2 and Dec. 20, 2019.

Business leaders registered an LBCI score of 50.8 heading into 2020. The LBCI’s neutral point is a score of 50. The upswing ends a year-long downward slide.

“Colorado’s economy is still growing, according to most indicators,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division. “These results reflect the real business successes we’re seeing with the general uncertainty business owners feel going into the new year.”

All six LBCI components rose from the previous quarter. 

Five of the six LBCI components registered as positive, though hiring and business spending were close to neutral. 

Expectations for the national economy were the lowest at 45.9, though that component marked the largest quarter-over-quarter gain. Survey responses cited pessimism around trade, politics, the economy and general economic uncertainty.

Business leaders expect the Colorado economy to do better than the national economy, which is largely in line with reality, according to Wobbekind.

“We expect Colorado’s population, employment, gross domestic product and income to keep growing in 2020,” said Wobbekind. “That should translate to Colorado’s economy continuing to outpace the nation.”

The latest LBCI report can be read online at Leeds' website.