DURHAM — Slightly less than half of Granite Staters expect businesses to prosper over the next year, according to a poll for the Business and Industry Association released by the UNH Survey Center.
The latest survey results represent a pause after three straight quarters of improvement.
The BIA Report on Consumer Confidence reached 521 randomly selected New Hampshire adults by phone from July 5 through July 15.
Regarding business improvement, 26 percent expect bad times, while 26 percent anticipate mixed conditions. The figures are consistent with views prior to the 2008 recession, according to press release.
“The good news is that almost half of Granite Staters think business will improve in the next 12 months, and we hope that number will continue to grow,” BIA President Jim Roche said in a statement.
“It's likely that Granite Staters are adopting a wait-and-see approach because of the impending fall elections and unfolding economic conditions in Europe,” he said.
Issues from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding much of the Affordable Care Act to the “fiscal cliff” of massive debt and annual budget deficits facing Congress before the end of the year weigh heavily on public sentiment, he said.
“I don't think the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court (on the Affordable Care Act) added much clarity to that complex topic, so it's like a big soupy economic mix, and I think the result is people are pretty uncertain about the future,” Roche said.
“That said, about half of folks think New Hampshire businesses will do well in the future,” he said.
Among respondents, views about their own families were somewhat more positive. When asked about their household's financial condition, 22 percent of New Hampshire adults said they are better off now than a year ago, while 38 percent said say they are worse off, and 40 percent said things are about the same.