The attitude of New Jersey business leaders toward the state’s economy and business climate appears to have returned to the general optimism levels of 2007, according to the Real Estate and Economic Policy Research Consortium’s latest “C-Suite Survey” of the state’s chief business leadership. The findings, presented at the consortium’s conference and webinar on June 27, found that an overwhelming majority—82 percent—of respondents indicated the health of the national economy is “good” or “excellent,” compared to 61.5 percent in 2007. By contrast, in 2012—the early stages of the current expansion—only 8.1 percent considered the economy to be “good,” and zero indicated “excellent.” Regarding New Jersey, expectations are weaker with 36 percent of respondents indicating they believe the state’s economy will improve.
The Real Estate and Economic Policy Research Consortium gathering, which took place at the Bloustein School’s Civic Square Building on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus, brought together key stakeholders from New Jersey’s business, professional and educational communities. Organized by the Bloustein School, 2015-2017 consortium members include commercial real estate services firm CBRE, professional services network PwC, law firm Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, PNC Bank, and design, planning, and development firm The Kimmerle Group. James W. Hughes, distinguished professor and dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Marc D. Weiner, J.D., Ph.D., associate research professor and study director, presented the full survey findings at the event.
The conference concluded with a panel of top executives, who discussed the survey and their own perceptions of the state’s changing business climate. Thomas Bracken, President and CEO, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, served as moderator. Panel participants included Linda Bowden, New Jersey Regional President, PNC Bank; Gil Medina, Executive Vice President, CBRE, Inc.; Mitch Roschelle, Partner and Business Development Leader, PwC; Frank Vitolo, Esq., Partner, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti, LLP; and George Kimmerle, AIA, PP, President, The Kimmerle Group.
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