Business Forecast

Produced by the Chamber, in partnership with CalPrivate 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.



May 2018 – Business Outlook Solidly Positive for Fifth Consecutive Month
This month’s Business Forecast sponsored by CalPrivate Bank shows clear skies ahead for San Diego’s business climate. The business community’s outlook remains steadily optimistic with a Business Outlook Index score of 21.9, relatively unchanged from March’s 22.5. In keeping with this steadiness, all four components of the index – expectations about hiring, revenue, hours offered to workers, and business conditions – are holding strong.

April 2018 – Business Outlook Continues Optimistic Trend
Business optimism in San Diego County is holding steady with the Business Outlook Index at 22.5 in this month’s Business Forecast sponsored by CalPrivate Bank. The Forecast also gauges the business community’s sentiment on autonomous vehicles. Responses indicate no consensus on how prepared local businesses are for the new technology, with 41 percent admitting they are unprepared. However, there is broad consensus – 71 percent – that these vehicles will have no effect on business operations.

March 2018 – Business Community’s Optimism is On the Rise
San Diego County’s Business Outlook Index, which reflects how the business community assesses the coming three months, continues its positive trajectory. This month’s Business Forecast, sponsored by CalPrivate Bank, shows the Index at 23.9 – a significant improvement compared to the previous three-month average of 17.4. This month we asked businesspeople about the Trump administration’s recent federal tax overhaul. The primary driver of attitudes on the tax plan is the expected impact the law will have on one’s own firm. Businesspeople who believe they will be better off are more likely to also say the plan will be good for the country and vice versa. Forty-eight percent of San Diego businesses don’t believe the overhaul will have an impact on their firm.

February 2018 – Business Community Maintains Optimism at Start of 2018
Optimism within San Diego’s business community remains unchanged since December, scoring 19.7 on the Business Outlook Index in this month’s San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank. Expectations about all four components of the index—the number of employees in companies, number of hours offered to workers, revenue, and business conditions— are holding steady.

January 2018 – San Diego Businesses Getting their Groove Back in New Year
The San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, shows county businesses beginning 2018 with a positive outlook, posting a score of 19.5 on the Business Outlook Index. The increase is due primarily to greater confidence among finance and retail firms. The survey also asked about homelessness and found that more business people see homelessness as an issue compared to December 2015 when the question was last polled. When asked how much one’s company would be willing to pay annually to fund new programs to address homelessness, nearly half of the county’s businesses said their firms wouldn’t pay anything and only 17 percent believe their companies are willing to pay at least $500.

December 2017 – Business Confidence Remains Fairly Steady Looking to 2018
The San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, shows November’s Business Outlook Index (BOI) continues its stay in positive territory at 14.2. Compared to October, expectations about the BOI’s business conditions component are not as positive, with fewer firms saying things will improve in the next three months and slightly more believing they will worsen.

November 2017 – Fourth Quater Outlook for County Business Climate Steadily Positive
The San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, shows October’s Business Outlook Index (BOI) remains squarely in positive territory at 19.0. This is a huge improvement from this time last year when the index hit its all-time low of 9.3 in the thick of the contentious presidential campaign. Although not significantly improved from last month’s BOI of 14.7, confidence remains steadily optimistic as we enter 2017’s last quarter.

October 2017 – San Diego County Business Confidence Remains Moderate
The San Diego County Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, shows confidence has not significantly rebounded since last month when the Business Outlook Index (BOI) hit its lowest point of the year. The BOI stands at 14.7, which is about where it was this time last year.

September 2017 – Business Confidence Drops to Lowest Point in 2017
The Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, shows confidence has dipped to its lowest point of 2017, with the Business Outlook Index (BOI) at 13.2. This is a significant drop from last month, which was solidly positive (20.7). The Index runs from -100 to +100, with zero being neutral, so it remains in positive territory, but August 2017 marks the lowest BOI since October 2016 when the index hit 9.3. That was the worst showing since the BOI’s inception and due to the uncertainty surrounding the presidential election. Since then, confidence had been solid until this month.

August 2017 – Business Forecast: Plateau Persists in Business Confidence
The Business Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, remains in solidly positive territory this month, with the Business Outlook Index (BOI) at 20.7. The Index runs from -100 to +100, with zero being neutral. There has been no significant change since last month, and overall sentiment continues to hold steady.

July 2017 – Chamber Business Forecast – Sustained Business Confidence Hits Plateau
The business community’s confidence continues to be markedly higher than it was a year ago, but this month’s Business Forecast found its climb has reached a plateau. The gains seen over the last six months have not extended into the outlook for the summer with the Business Outlook Index at 21.7. This Forecast, sponsored by San Diego Private Bank, also took the annual measurement of how business-friendly local governments are and whether firms are considering moving out of the county. The results show perceived friendliness of local government is on par with last year. When compared to 2014 and 2015, government has become friendlier to the business community by 11 percent and 5 percent, respectively. And regarding moving operations, 9 percent of companies are considering moving at least a portion of their company outside San Diego County, about the same as last year.

June 2017 – Business Community Maintains Steady Optimism Looking to Summer
This month’s San Diego Private Bank-sponsored Business Forecast shows that San Diego’s business community remains steadily upbeat about near term prospects. The Business Outlook Index (BOI) sits right at its all-time average of 23.7. There has been no change in the outlook since last month and optimism has been stable the entire year. It has been a pleasantly remarkable change from 2016, when San Diego’s business community began to doubt that things would improve and see-sawed its way through the year.

May 2017 – Tank Empty on Business Community’s Enthusiasm for New State Gas Tax
This month’s Silvergate Bank-sponsored Business Forecast finds strong opposition from San Diego County’s business community for the recently passed state gas tax. Nearly half see the taxes as having a negative impact on their industry, with 27 percent expressing concerns that those impacts will be “very negative.” While sour on the new tax, county businesses are holding steady to the optimism that has been present since the start of the year. The Business Outlook Index (BOI) in this month’s Forecast sits at an even 24.0, right in line with its historic average and unchanged from the previous four months.

April 2017 – Steady Business Confidence Closes Q1
The April Business Forecast takes a look back at the first quarter of 2017 with the quarterly Business Outlook Index (BOI) at 24.8, which is a marked improvement over the previous three quarters and the best since the second quarter of 2015. The monthly BOI comes in just slightly below the quarterly mark at a solid 23.7, exactly its lifetime average. This month’s Forecast, sponsored by Silvergate Bank, also looks at opportunities and challenges for small businesses in San Diego County. Government regulations and minimum wage top the list of obstacles, while 41 percent say growth opportunities are better for small firms now than five years ago.

March 2017 – Business Confidence Continues Positive Trajectory
This month’s Business Forecast brings continued good news on the outlook for county businesses with the Business Outlook Index (BOI) firmly in positive territory at 25.2. The main driver of this recent surge in enthusiasm relates to revenue with the majority of firms expecting an increase. This month’s Forecast, sponsored by Silvergate Bank, also looks at health insurance and perceptions of the ACA. The survey found that relatively few firms know how the proposed ACA reforms will impact their business.

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.