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Bellevue Chamber News & Happenings: Bellevue Chamber News

Eastside Business Leader Outlook on the 2018 Economy

Friday, November 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Ashley Clemmer
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November 16, 2017
Contact: Sara Garner, 425.213.1204

BELLEVUE – Eastside business leader optimism remains high, with 78% of respondents saying that the Puget Sound economy will continue to expand in the next year. Overall, Eastside business leaders continue their optimism into 2018 with 51% of respondents noting they were more optimistic since this time last year.

The complete results of the annual Eastside Business Leader survey conducted by the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce were revealed at the 2018 Economic Forecast today, and may be found in the Bellevue Chamber’s complimentary 2018 Eastside Economic Forecast Strategy Guide, available online at The guide is packed with nearly 60 pages of information, market intelligence and insights for business leaders and anyone interested in learning more about the local and regional economy.

Other survey findings include:

Revenue Outlook for local companies:

Drilling down to the individual company level revealed businesses continue to be optimistic about their own company when it comes to forecasting revenue in the next year with over 73% expecting that revenues will come in stronger than last year. 22% felt their revenues would hold steady, an increase of four percentage points from last year’s 18%. A scant 3% thought their revenues would decline.

Jobs Outlook for local companies:

The workforce prediction is more positive than last year with 53% of survey respondents expecting to add employees to their company in 2017. The most job growth in relation to company size is expected within companies of 100-250 employees (80%) and 11-50 employees (69%).

Top areas of workforce expansion continued the same as last year and are:

·         Marketing and sales positions – 51% down a notch from last year’s 54%

·         Administration – slight change at 33%, compared to 34% in 2016

·         Industry/Technical Specialists – 32%; a slight uptick from 30% last year

Business leaders were also asked what state and local challenges impacted their business. The top four challenges remain the same from last year to this year, with no change in order. Transportation ranks significantly higher than all other challenges.

#1 Transportation, infrastructure and congestion
#2 Employee health care costs
Tied #3 Business taxation, regulation, and utilities ratesTied #3 Regional economic climate

Business leaders continue to send a consistent message the last four years that these four areas are their top challenges. And the rankings show their numbers are tightly clustered.

Of the National Factors impacting the Business Leader Outlook the top four are:

#1 Cost of health care – stays at the top of the list and continues to be ranked significantly higher in than any of the others top factors
#2 Federal legislation – continues to hold the #2 slot
#3 Cyber security threats and data breaches – makes the top four this year, up from the #5 concern
#4 The global economy – moves from #3 to #4

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The Bellevue Chamber accelerates tomorrow today, representing thousands of jobs in our community. Businesses range in size from sole proprietors to large corporations. The Chamber's mission is to foster a healthy business environment by providing strategic leadership, advocacy, tools, and resources for business success.

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