Dane County companies expect a solid economy in 2016

By Judy Newman, Wisconsin State Journal

ExactSciences_lab-wsjDane County business leaders report strong sales for 2015, and they are sounding a positive note about the outlook for 2016, a survey shows.

But they still are holding back on upgrading their offices and equipment, according to the annual First Business Economic Survey for Dane County, being released Wednesday.

Nearly two-thirds — 65 percent — of the business executives who responded said sales rose at their company in 2015, while 54 percent reported higher profits.

Those figures were not quite as high as in 2014, when 75 percent had a jump in sales and 62 percent were more profitable.

At the same time, though, fewer companies dealt with slumping sales or declining profits this year. Only 17 percent saw sales dip and 21 percent were less profitable than in 2014, both the lowest levels since First Business Bank began conducting the survey in 2003.

Professional services companies, such as lawyers, accountants, architects and engineers, were most likely to see more money coming in this year, according to the poll. It showed 76 percent of the Dane County businesses in that field recorded higher revenues, the highest percentage for professional services in the survey’s 13 years. Read more …

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