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Survey: LI business confidence slips

The Long Island economy seems more stormy in

The Long Island economy seems more stormy in the year to come, respondents to a survey on business confidence in 2013 say. These storm clouds were over Hempstead Harbor. Credit: Newsday , 2004 / Ken Spencer

Long Island businesses say they are less confident about the local economy than they were a year ago, according to a survey released Thursday.

Asked to rate their confidence in the Long Island economy on a scale of one to 10, the average was 4.9 compared to 5.1 a year earlier. Despite the overall confidence level, businesses were more optimistic in several key areas.

“Most of the statistics for 2012 were not that strong,” said Thomas Murray, a managing partner at AVZ. “But as people look toward 2013 they look toward 2013 with a little greater optimism with regards to sales, what they’re projecting for revenue.”

The survey, a joint project of accounting firm Albrecht, Viggiano Zurek & Co. and the Long Island Business News, was mailed to 5,000 businesses on Nov. 1, 2012.

Some key  findings include:

-- Half of respondents said they expected revenue growth to improve in 2013, compared to 45 percent last year.

-- More companies plan to add employees than last year -- 29 percent compared to 24 percent -- and fewer said they plan to reduce head count. But 56 percent have no plans to change staffing levels, the same as least year.

-- Salary continues to be the number one concern among employees according to 67 percent of respondents.

-- Quality of life is a growing concern for employees -- 16 percent said this was the issue of greatest concern compared to 10 percent the year before.

-- Slightly fewer companies plan to expand their facilities in 2013 -- 12 percent compared to 14 percent in 2012 -- and among those that do 79 percent plan to add 10,000 square feet or less. Last year 76 percent of companies that planned expansions were looking to add more than 10,000 square feet.

-- Lack of affordable housing was the biggest impediment to greater economic success for the island followed by state and local taxes.

The survey was released at a breakfast organized by the Hauppauge Industrial Association.

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