Report: Optimism up among Coast CEOs, business owners

Mississippi Gulf Coast 009MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation has released its quarterly CEO and Business Owners Confidence Report for the fourth quarter of 2013.

“After a decline in confidence for the third quarter of 2013, we are pleased to see business leaders are optimistic of improvements in the coming months”, said Jack Norris, president of the Gulf Coast Business Council.  “It is also encouraging that confidence is up compared to the same time the previous year.”

Some highlights of the study are:

• The CEO & Business Owner Confidence for the Mississippi Gulf Coast increased in the fourth quarter relative to both prior quarter and prior year.  The measure of business confidence includes three components, two of which gauge perceptions of the current economy and one that factors in future expectations; a score of 50 would indicate overall neutrality, or that the economy is neither improving nor worsening. While respondents did not report any significant improvements in the current economy, expectations looking ahead six months reached a three-year high.  When delving into the future expectations index of 64, respondents from Jackson County were the most confident (68), with Hancock and Harrison Counties reporting 66 and 60, respectively.

• The combined sales tax base for the Mississippi Gulf Coast has now expanded (year-over-year) in 19 consecutive months.  Harrison County was up 3.1 percent over prior year, Jackson County was up 2.8 percent and Hancock was down marginally (1.1 percent).

For the complete report, visit www.msgcbc.org.

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