Will 2011 be better for Phila. businesses than 2010?

While business activity is expected to pick up in 2011, poor sales remain the biggest worry for companies, according to a new survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

The local Fed surveyed the members of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce during the first half of December.

Jason Novak, the Fed research and policy support manager who presented the survey's results at a chamber economic outlook event Wednesday morning, said the results may reflect a "downward bias" given the uncertainty of tax policy and other issues at the time that survey was conducted.

Of 207 businesses that responded, 30 percent listed "poor sales" as the No. 1 problem facing them in 2011. The second-biggest problem? The cost of benefits for workers.

Still, those same businesses see activity in the region as well as in their own companies increasing more than 2010. Novak joined the chorus of economists who view the recovery as too weak to produce lots of new jobs.

Here's a link to the survey.