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CenterState CEO Economic Forecast report finds fewer members generated growth last year

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A new report finds that 56 percent of nearly 200 CenterState CEO members surveyed generated growth in 2017, down from 67 percent in 2016.

At the same time, 52 percent of those surveyed expect an increase in jobs and hiring in 2018, down 1 percent from 2017 projections.

That’s according to the 2018 Economic Forecast report for the CenterState region of New York state that CenterState CEO released on Wednesday. Baldwinsville–based Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. conducted the survey.


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The report includes the perspectives and projections of nearly 200 CenterState CEO members and business leaders from 15 industry sectors, and includes key market data from Manpower Inc. and CenterState CEO on exporting, industry, and employment.

Besides the growth and hiring projections, the survey also found 67 percent of members surveyed anticipate increased sales or revenue in 2018, down 1 percent from 2017 projections.

It also found 53 percent expect to expand product and services in 2018, up 2 percent from 2017 projections; and 53 percent expect profits to increase in 2018, up 4 percent from 2017 projections.

The organization released the report during its annual Economic Forecast breakfast held at the Holiday Inn Syracuse-Liverpool-Exit 37 at 441 Electronics Parkway in Salina.

More than 600 people attended the event, CenterState CEO said.

Regional outlook

In the event’s keynote address, Gary Keith, regional economist with M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB), discussed national and regional economic trends from the past year, and an outlook moving forward.

The CenterState New York region continues the trend of “guarded yet steady growth that has been a trademark of its economic position for several years,” according to Keith. The region’s pace of economic progress “has not mirrored the more robust growth seen on the national level,” he added.

“Buoyed by an improving U.S. economy, the CenterState region should slowly move forward in 2018. However, a number of headwinds will continue to buffet the region, with perhaps the most significant being labor-supply shortages. Economic progress requires a well-trained and productive workforce. Public and private-sector efforts to resolve labor-supply constraints and worker skill-set gaps are critically important to the region’s economic future,” Keith said in the CenterState CEO news release.

In his remarks, Robert Simpson, president & CEO of CenterState CEO, challenged the audience to reject the idea that stagnant or slow growth was an “inevitability” and encouraged leaders to “build on the foundations of success: collaboration, inclusion and action to ignite significant change” for the regional economy.

“This report, the outlook shared by members, and the very clear message from Gary Keith should be seen as an opportunity for us to commit to working harder, smarter and more together to achieve greater economic success for the region. While there is no silver bullet to ensure rapid, broad and equitable economic progress, we have the raw materials needed to work towards stronger growth. This is a pivotal moment for our community and I believe we will rise to the challenge and create a better economic future for the region,” Simpson said in the CenterState CEO news release.

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