Make us your home page
Instagram

Trigaux: What effect is this nasty presidential election having on businesses trying to make real decisions?

Yes, businesses are delaying decisions until this particularly nasty presidential election is over. But perhaps not as much as the onslaught of commercials and media coverage might suggest. [Getty Images]

Yes, businesses are delaying decisions until this particularly nasty presidential election is over. But perhaps not as much as the onslaught of commercials and media coverage might suggest. [Getty Images]

Is this rancorous presidential election influencing business behavior?

Yes, say some business economists in a national survey released this week. But perhaps not as much as people stressed by the daily barrage of TV coverage of the Trump-Clinton grudge match might think.

A poll of 104 members of the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) and other industry economists found that 13 percent say their firms postponed hiring or investment decisions pending the outcome of the November 2016 presidential election. That figure, gleaned from responses in late September and early October, is up 2 percentage points from the July survey results.

The impact varies by the size of the company responding.

While only 6 percent of respondents from large firms (over 100 employees) indicate their companies delayed decisions, 23 percent of those from smaller firms suggest that uncertainty about the upcoming election caused a delay in hiring or investment decisions.

The election question is one of many asked of economists at a time when the economic recovery is aging. Other surveys and individual economists in recent months have pointed to a rising likelihood of a U.S. recession some time during the first term of the next president.

"The results of the most recent survey appear consistent with an economy in its eighth year of recovery," says NABE president Stuart Mackintosh, executive director of the Group of Thirty, a Washington, D.C., group of international economic consultants.

Still, the survey notes pockets of strength. Over 40 percent report that their firms are increasing investment to support new product lines or for capacity expansion.

"Election uncertainty and potential increases in the minimum wage do not appear to be impacting business decisions in the aggregate, although these issues are a greater concern for panelists in some subgroups," stated Emily Kolinski Morris, Ford Motor's chief economist.

Despite a popular backlash against raising the minimum wage, the NABE survey found minimal concerns among economists. Almost three-fourths of survey respondents (74 percent) said a minimum wage increase would have little or no impact on their firms.

The NABE survey also found:

• 37 percent of those surveyed report that their firms experienced shortages of skilled labor during the last three months of 2016, up from 31 percent in the previous survey.

• 43 percent say their firms had difficulty filling open positions during the third quarter. That's up a bit from 40 percent in July who cited difficulty in hiring during the second quarter.

The NABE survey was released days after Florida reported its latest unemployment rate, which remained stuck at 4.7 percent in September for the fifth straight month.

The steady rate is somewhat misleading since the state is still adding jobs as it grows the size of its labor force. And Florida is hardly alone. Unemployment rates were significantly lower in only seven states, higher in just one state, but stable in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com. Follow @venturetampabay.

Trigaux: What effect is this nasty presidential election having on businesses trying to make real decisions? 10/24/16 [Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2016 6:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa man pleads guilty to forging check for fake investment

    Personal Finance

    A Tampa resident was convicted Thursday for forging a check for a fake investment. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation said that Eric Franz Peer pleaded guilty. He served 11 months in jail and will have to pay $18,000.

  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Terrier Tri brings unique triathlon training to South Tampa

    Business

    Over a decade ago, Robert Pennino traded late nights in the music studio for early mornings in the Terrier Tri cycle studio.

    Terrier Tri, a cycling studio in South Tampa celebrates a grand opening on June 27. Photo courtesy of Tess Hipp.
  4. New bistro hopes to serve as 'adult Chuck E. Cheese'

    Business

    YBOR CITY — Inside Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy, a new restaurant opening in Ybor City, customers will find a mix of family recipes, games and secrecy.

    Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy readies to open in Ybor City. Photo courtesy of Cheezy's Bistro and Speakeasy.
  5. Ramadan having an economic impact on local charities, businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Dodging the rain, a few families and customers gathered inside Petra Restaurant on Busch Boulevard. Around 8:30 p.m., the adham (or call to prayer) music begins, signaling Iftar, the end of the daily fast. Customers grabbed a plate to dig into the feast.

    Baha Abdullah, 35, the owner of the Sultan Market makes kataif, a common dessert that is eaten during the month long celebration of Ramadan in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]