Making sure we present the business perspective on the future of the economy is critical.

Last quarter (17-Q1), we launched the CEOutlook initiative, and I can absolutely say we are already gaining from it. Optimism is the word again this quarter, as Natalie’s analysis will show. There are however risks to our economic growth. This quarter, in addition to asking about the direction of the economy, we asked executive  the impacts of federal tax reform on their businesses and the greatest local barriers preventing their businesses from growing.

These issues are significant, for example our country — and Utah’s economy — is being left behind globally with an antiquated federal tax system. Executives reported that federal tax reform and lowering the corporate tax rate would increase capital spending, hiring, and improve companies’ competitiveness globally. However, businesses do need more clarity and policy leadership from Washington on this issue.

In addition to this challenge, it seems that every business is being impacted by our robust economy and a lack of talent in every sector. The majority of executives responded that this is the most significant challenge to further business growth. A significant opportunity exists to help address these issues both in the short and long term. Utah can become more than a national economic powerhouse, we can be a global one if we invest, align and ensure educational achievement. That’s why I’m so excited by the potential of the “Talent Ready Utah” initiative and the recent launching of the many career pathway programs programs.

This quarterly survey is already proving to be a powerful tool to understand where Utah’s economy is headed and challenges to future growth. We appreciate the support of our participants and hope you’ll utilize this to make better-informed decisions in your business.

View the Report: HERE

About the Salt Lake Chamber's CEOutlook:

The Salt Lake Chamber’s CEOutlook is a new statewide economic survey of Utah business executives. Modeled after other national business sentiment surveys, it provides a forward-looking view of the Utah economy. The results of the survey will help business and community leaders make informed decisions about likely future economic conditions. The survey is currently in its “pre-test” stage and will be evaluated over the next year to assess its predictive value.