Produced by the Chamber, in partnership with Silvergate Bank, this monthly economic report conducted by Competitive Edge Research provides valuable insights into future trends of the regional business community as well as topical issues.
February 2017 – Business Confidence Soars in First Quarter
The positive trend we have seen the last few months from county businesses continues with a surge in optimism in this month’s Silvergate Bank-sponsored Business Forecast. San Diego County’s Business Outlook Index (BOI) is now 25.6, the highest level since March 2016. This month’s Forecast also asks about disaster preparedness and finds that fewer than half of the county’s businesses have a disaster recovery plan. Business size is a factor, with small firms rarely having plans in place and large firms more likely to have an established strategy.
January 2017 – New Year Brings Cautious Optimism
County businesses reported a moderately optimistic outlook at the close of 2016 in the most recent Business Forecast. In the final survey of 2016, county businesses were looking ahead to the first part of 2017 with a lukewarm Business Outlook Index of 16.8. This month’s installment also asked how the business community views the incoming Trump Administration and found nearly two-thirds are predicting the new administration will have a positive impact on the U.S. economy and 44 percent believe their own firm will also benefit.
December 2016 – Confidence Among County Businesses Rebounds
After confidence dropped to a new low last month, this month’s Business Forecast, sponsored by Silvergate Bank, shows the Business Outlook Index (BOI) among county businesses rebounded from 9 to a far healthier 18. With a brighter outlook ahead, it seems the downturn was a by-product of the rancorous Presidential election campaign. A surge in confidence related to industry conditions has primarily fueled this month’s recovery. The survey also asks about health, fitness, and wellness programs in the workplaces, finding diverse opinions on their importance and a consensus that County businesses are fitter than average.
November 2016 – County Business Outlook Drops To New Low
Continuing a trend that extends back to mid-2015, San Diego County’s Business Outlook Index, which reflects how the business community assesses the coming three months, took a big drop to single digits (9.3). This is the lowest point since the survey began in August 2013 and the first time the Index has dipped into single digits. The main factor driving the downturn is a less optimistic outlook for hiring. This month’s Forecast also asked about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and found that while it is a split decision as to whether CSR efforts are effective when it comes to increasing employee retention, most companies do engage in these types of programs frequently.
October 2016 – Outlook Among County Businesses Holds Steady
After testing a new low point last month, county businesses show little change in their optimism for the last quarter of the year. The Business Outlook Index in this month’s Silvergate Bank-sponsored Business Forecast rises just about a point to 16.8. This month’s Forecast also finds that when it comes to workload, most regard workers in their industry as being at least somewhat overworked and relatively few believe switching to a 30-hour workweek would help the bottom line. The impact of the looming minimum wage increases is seen in various places across the survey including as a top business challenge and as a catalyst for some to consider a 30-hour workweek as a way out of wage inflation.
September 2016 – County Business Outlook Takes Another Dip, Finds New Low
Confidence among San Diego County businesses continues to fluctuate in this month’s Silvergate Bank-sponsored Business Forecast as the Business Outlook Index tests a new low, dropping to 15.6. Some of this downturn is attributed to businesses offering fewer work hours to employees as summer ends. This month’s Forecast also asked about diversity in the workplace, finding that feelings are mixed as to the importance of diversity on business success and the majority view their industry as adequately diverse. Most notable is the finding that companies that place a high value on diversity in the workplace are far more optimistic over the next few months than firms which see it as less important.
August 2016 – County Businesses Agree: Housing Expensive and More Needs to be Built
The region’s housing shortage has become an ongoing conversation as to the impacts on economic growth. This month’s Forecast finds more than 90 percent of businesses in San Diego County agreeing that the region’s housing is expensive. A smaller majority also agree building additional housing in their community is at least a somewhat important thing to do. This month’s Forecast also shows that confidence among county businesses continues to fluctuate. The Business Outlook Index moved up about 5 points to 20.9 from last month’s 15.7 which was the lowest point since the survey began. Still in moderately positive territory, the outlook remains pressured by minimum wage increases and the negative impacts those mandates have on business confidence.
July 2016 – County Business Outlook Sinks To Lowest Point Yet
Confidence among San Diego County businesses has fallen to 15.7, its lowest point since the survey began in August 2013. While this is the lowest point the Index has hit since the survey’s start, the business community’s outlook is still in somewhat positive territory because the BOI’s scoring has zero as neutral. This month’s Forecast also took the annual measurement of how business friendly local governments are and whether firms are considering moving out of the county.
June 2016 – County Business Outlook Regains Stability
Following three months of erratic business confidence, this month’s Silvergate Bank-sponsored Business Forecast shows a modest change in outlook among county businesses from last month. This month’s survey also asked businesses how difficult it is to start a new venture in San Diego.
May 2016 – Minimum Wage Increase Curtails Rebound of County’s Business Outlook
After surging to the highest point since June 2015, the business outlook has reversed and is now back down to 19.4 where it was in February. The main factors dragging the Outlook down are a waning confidence in hiring and the imminent increase in the minimum wage.
April 2016 – After Two Months of Positive Growth County Business Outlook Falls Again
After a dramatic drop of more than 5 points last month, the business outlook among county businesses has surged and the Business Outlook Index (BOI) now stands at 26.9. This is the first time the BOI has been above the historical average of 25.3 since June 2015.
March 2016 – County Business Outlook Makes Strong Rebound
The growing optimism in the county’s business outlook displayed at the beginning of 2016 has waned. The Business Outlook Index took a significant drop from 25.0 to 19.4, bringing it well below both its historical average of 25.3 and its 52-week average of 23.5.
February 2016 – Optimism for County Business Outlook Continues
In the last quarter of 2015 the BOI was 19, well off its usual pace. Now, the Business Outlook Index (BOI) stands at 25, a significant improvement over the latter half of 2015. The increase from late 2015 to January shows the upward momentum observed in December was not a fluke.
January 2016 – San Diego County’s Business Outlook Optimistic For Start of 2016
The New Year brings a better outlook among county businesses with the Business Outlook Index making positive gains and rising 6.7 points to 23.3. County businesses were also asked about the issue of homelessness with nearly half viewing it as at least a somewhat serious issue in their area, and 56 percent wanting local government to do more to address the issue.
December 2015 – San Diego County’s Business Outlook Continues Downward
Although still fairly positive, county businesses post a Business Outlook Index (BOI) of 16.6, which sets a new low as we head into 2016. This month’s survey also finds that 19 percent of the County’s businesses have been negatively impacted by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the business community shows substantial support for CEQA reforms.
November 2015 – San Diego County Business Outlook Index at All-Time Low
The mild economic “breather” first identified by the Business Forecast in July has gained downward momentum and this month’s outlook is the least optimistic since the survey began in August of 2013. Revenue projections and business conditions are showing the biggest drops with small firms being hit hardest. This month’s Forecast also tackles climate change. An overwhelming percentage of businesses agree that harmful climate change is real, and they want government climate action plans to balance environmental and economic concerns.
October 2015 – Affordable Care Act Still a Mystery to Majority of San Diego Businesses
With new elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) set to take effect in January 2016 – including a change to the definition of “small employer,” as well as more reporting requirements – about half of San Diego County businesses admit they do not know enough about the law to gauge how it will affect their business.
September 2015 – Women Executives Underrepresented in San Diego Business
Women continue to break new ground nationally in executive positions such as those at Yahoo, General Motors and Hewlett Packard, but in San Diego, women are underrepresented as chief executives.