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66.4 percent

May 23, 2012

As might be expected, New Jersey business leaders are lukewarm on the state's economy -- both as a place to do business and as a place to expand. The Bloustein School of Public Planning and Policy recently surveyed New Jersey CEOs and found that 66.4 percent of respondents said the state economy was "only fair"; 52.2 percent said it was an "only fair" place to both do and expand business.

Despite the lukewarm response, the survey, which was conducted in conjunction with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and Cushman Wakefield realty, returned much higher ratings than in the past five years. For example, the same survey last year had 66.3 percent calling the economy "poor" (as opposed to 28.3 percent this year) and 54.5 percent said the Garden State was a "poor" place to expand (as opposed to this year's 31 percent).

What's more, 59 percent of the CEO's say the state will get better in the next year; 74.3 expect their companies' revenues to improve; 31.9 percent expect to increase the number of New Jersey employees; and 31 percent say they will increase capital spending. About 75 percent also say that state government has become more responsive to the needs of the business community in the past six months and that the business and regulatory climate is more important to business than targeted business incentives. Still, no one thought the economic recovery has been strong and 61.9 percent say it's been weak.

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