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Slower growth, companies ease up on raises: NABE

July 29, 2019

Slower growth is expected over the next 12 months, and firms eased up on the awarding of raises, according to the “NABE Business Conditions Survey” released today the National Association for Business Economics.

“It is important to note, however, that all respondents still expect the current economic expansion to continue during this timeframe,” said NABE President Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG. “On balance, panelists expect slower growth than they were expecting three months ago. “

Higher tariffs are disrupting business conditions, especially in the goods-producing sector, NABE noted. It found that 76% of respondents from that sector reported negative impacts from tariffs on business conditions.

The report also looked at raises. “Although 47% of respondents indicate that their firms increased wages and salaries in the past three months, raises were less prevalent than at any time in the past year and a half,” Hunter said. “In addition, 47% of respondents also report skilled labor shortages, the first time since October of 2018 that the share is smaller than 50%.”

While raising wages was the most common action taken to address staffing difficulty — it was cited by 42% of respondents — fewer report doing so than in recent surveys, according to the report.

Still the NABE survey noted firms were continuing to hire workers, and high-skilled positions remained the most difficult to fill.

Respondents to the survey included 119 members of NABE.

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