Leeds Business Confidence Index, Q3 2011
The Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI) is a forward-looking index that gauges business leaders’ opinions about national and state economic trends and how their industry will perform in the coming quarter.
Each quarter, Colorado business leaders are invited to complete a brief online survey about next-quarter expectations. The survey results are then compiled into the LBCI.
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Colorado business leaders remained positive, albeit generally less optimistic, looking ahead to Q3 2011. The Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI) measures the confidence of Colorado business leaders in six categories: national economy, state economy, industry sales, industry profits, hiring plans, and capital expenditures. The LBCI’s reading slipped from 56.8 to 51.6 from Q2 to Q3.
Confidence waned across all metrics, although most indices remained above the neutral mark (50). Business leaders pointed to more upside potential on sales and profits, which appeared to translate to capital expenditures and hiring. Expectations for the national economy were especially bleak, falling back below neutral after two consecutive quarters of optimism, while expectations for the Colorado economy hovered just above neutral.
In addition to the expectations questions, panelists were asked about producer prices and fuel prices. For producer prices, business leaders pointed to energy and transportation costs applying the most pressure to their bottom line, followed by labor and materials (e.g., steel, copper, etc.). Business leaders expect the average fuel price to be $3.77 per gallon in Q3 2011.