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Optimistic LI leaders buck statewide economic pessimism

Kevin Law at the Crest Hollow Country Club

Photo credit: Long Island Business News

Despite the indicators of a rosier economic climate than years past, Long Island business leaders may not yet see the glass as half full.

Still, half of Long Island’s business owners expect revenue growth. Four out of 10 plan to expand profitability. And 33% say they believe a recession is unlikely, compared to 12% a year ago. Yet concerns remain about economic conditions, healthcare costs, regulations, housing costs and the ability to hire skilled workers.

That’s according to the Long Island Economic Survey – Outlook 2024 from PKF O’Connor Davies, in collaboration with Sienna College Research Institute. The survey was conducted between Oct. 2 and Dec. 4.

The survey is designed to help “our clients and the greater Long Island business community to better understand and adapt to the changing economic, political and social circumstances impacting the region,” Jeffery Davoli, co-partner-in-charge of PKF O’Connor Davies’ office in Hauppauge.

The results of the annual survey were released last week before an estimated 260 business leaders at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, where state and local leaders were part of a panel discussion about the findings.

Kevin Law, a partner at Tritec who also chairs the board of Empire State Development, served as one of the panelists. He said there’s a “big disconnect between what the facts are and what the mood or psychology of folks is. Inflation is a lot lower than it was during the peak. The unemployment rate has certainly recovered tremendously.” And with “interest rates, while higher, the indication is they’re getting better.”

Anecdotally, “the businesses I talk to – they all tell me they had the best year ever – and they feel optimistic,” he said. Yet, “they don’t feel good about the economy, and it doesn’t measure up with a lot of facts.”

But the psychology, he pointed out, “is really important” about “how people feel” and “whether they are going to spend.”

Read the full article in Long Island Business News.