Local Businesses Optimistic About Next 12 Months

BOSS Survey of 447 business owners and executives finds the most optimism about the local economy since 2004. Second of 5 parts this week.
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Illustation: Getty Images

The BOSS Survey asked local business leaders in late March and early April: Will the local economy grow, stay the same or worsen in the coming year?

The result: 52% said the economy will improve, the highest response for that answer from local business leaders in similar surveys stretching back to 1998. When asked the same question 12 months ago, 66% of local business leaders said the economy would worsen.

But what is also interesting from the latest survey is that 20% believe the local economy will get worse in the coming year.

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*didn’t know or didn’t answer

These responses are the basis of the BOSS Optimism Index, which hit an all-time low of 88 in April 2020. The latest index result of 131 is second only to the 134 reached in the second quarter of 2004. The index began in 1998 at 100.

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Individual Company Plans

Local business leaders were less optimistic overall in describing the spending plans of their own companies. They were asked which statements best describe their companies’ spending plans for the coming year.

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*dk/da: didn’t know or didn’t answer

There was a 10-point increase in businesses with plans for increased spending, but more than a quarter of local businesses surveyed are still committed to cost cutting.

Tourism Recovering

For this final question, we are combining results of the BOSS Survey with those of the 808 Poll, a survey of 503 members of the general public across the Hawaiian Islands.

Each respondent was presented with the following: 2019 was a record year for tourists coming to Hawai‘i, with an average of 870,000 visitors a month. When do you think a similar number of tourists will begin arriving again?

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Reports from the BOSS Spring 2021 Survey:

Methodology: How the BOSS Survey and 808 Poll were conducted

Part 1: Half of Local Businesses: “Bruised but on Track”

Categories: BOSS Survey, Business & Industry, Economy