Sunday, May 24, 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.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano