Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bank says Pa. business worrying more

First Niagara survey picks up negative vibes from 251 'leaders'

Bank says Pa. business worrying more


Philadelphia- and Allentown-area business leaders have turned pessimistic about sales and profit prospects, according to a survey that polled 251 in Philadelphia, suburban counties and the Allentown-Bethlehem area for First Niagara Bank (successor to Harleysville National.)

Only 30% say the economy will improve this year, down from 42% last year. A full 32% now say the economy will get worse this year, vs only 16% last year.

When it comes to their own businesses, 36% say revenues will increase this year, down from 46% last year. 22% say their sales will fall, up from 19%.

Re their profits: 30% expect their profits will be higher this year, down from 36% who said that last year. But 36% say their profits will fall, up from 26%. (The lag for profits vs. sales might be explained by the expectation of higher taxes.)

Only one-quarter of the group plans to hire this year, down from one-third last year. (1 in 10 plan to cut their workforce, similar to last year.)

By a margin of nearly 2 to 1, the leaders said business conditions were worse at the end of 2012, than in the middle of the year.

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About this blog

PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph at or 215 854 5194.

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