Bullish outlook may not translate to more mid-state hiring, bonuses

Jan 29, 2018

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  A new report says Tennessee’s business leaders remain bullish on the economy thanks in large part to President Trump’s recent tax cut.

Dr. Tim Graeff heads the Business Barometer survey taken quarterly by Middle Tennessee State University.

Credit MTSU

The new tax structure means significant savings for most businesses and Dr. Graeff says it has business leaders feeling upbeat.

“About 75 percent expect that that new tax law to have a positive effect on the U.S. economy, to have a positive effect on the Tennessee economy, their own industry, as well as their own individual firm and business.”

But Graeff says that positive sentiment won’t necessarily translate into improved conditions for employees.

“Only about one in ten said that they expect their firm to offer bonuses or increase incentives to employees or to increase hiring specifically because of that law.”

Dr. Graeff says a somewhat healthier number of business plan to make capital investments. He says about a third plan to put some of that tax savings back into their businesses.

He also notes that while business leaders are optimistic about the economy as a whole, they’re slightly less optimistic that their particular firm will continue to grow.

“We’ll just have to keep an eye on that and see how that goes again in April when we do our survey again.”

This quarter’s survey included a relatively small number of business leaders, owners and managers. That means a fairly high 14 point margin of error.