According to a study released this week by the CU-Boulder Leeds Business Division, Colorado business owners are less optimistic about economic recovery now than they were last quarter, with politics seen as the biggest potential disruption to the growth of their business. Here are the details.
* The CU Leeds School Index shows that the number of businesses in the state expressing positive expectations fell from 62.2 percent in the second quarter of 2012 to 53.6 in the third.
* The outlook still remains higher than the 10-year average for the index, and remains above the 50 percent index, which shows that the overall outlook for Colorado businesses indicates positive expectations. Sixty-six percent of the respondents to the quarterly survey expressed that their business was stronger today than it was a year ago.
* According to the survey results, panelists feared politics and higher interest rates could affect their organization, the report showed.
* 11.9 percent of the respondents expressed concern about the upcoming election and a political stalemate in Washington, the report stated.
* Other concerns of survey respondents listed in the report included waning consumer confidence and continued unemployment. There was also concern expressed about government spending, energy costs and the economic situation in Europe, the report stated.
* The report shows that, for the 29th quarter, optimism in Colorado's economy is higher than that of the nation's economy as a whole.
* 45.7 percent of Colorado respondents expect an increase in sales for the third quarter of the year, the report stated, while 17 percent expect a decline. Very few of the respondents expect either a strong increase in sales, 4.5 percent, or a strong decrease, .9 percent.
* According to the report, only 38.6 Colorado business respondents expect profit growth this quarter, as compared to 51.4 percent. Those anticipating a decline increased to 19.7 percent.
* Personal consumption is a key factor to profit growth, the report stated, and consumption is affected by national and state unemployment, which increased in May.
* Hiring and capital investment expectations for Colorado business owners also dropped slightly from last quarter.
* Statewide, the information and government sectors lost jobs according to data from May. However, 8,900 jobs were added to the professional and business sector -- the strongest employment gains year-over-year in May -- while education, health services and the construction industries also added jobs. Manufacturing showed an increase of 3,700 jobs, the Leeds School of Business reported, providing "an unexpected source of sustained strength."