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Siena poll: Upstate CEOs have lowered confidence in economy

Although they're not forecasting economic doom-and-gloom for New York State, a newly-released survey of private company CEOs across Upstate New York reveals a drop in overall confidence.

In the ninth-annual survey, which was released Monday, confidence falls by about 15 points from last year, from a score of 110.4 to 94.8 this year. Only executives at companies in the Capital District area expressed confidence exceeding the survey's break-even level of 100 points.

"As far as their expectations, their view of how consumer confidence would affect them, their view of what sales would look like, it just didn't meet their expectations," said Don Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute. 

Buffalo CEOs, he added, expressed higher confidence than their upstate peers. 

Executives are concerned mostly with government regulations and how they affect their respective businesses. Nearly three quarters of those participating told researchers that Obamacare, for example, has had a negative impact on their business. CEOs are also concerned about how a rising minimum wage and family leave will affect their costs.

"This is a burden that they have to carry," Levy said. "Many of them are already cutting back on the benefits that they offer their employees, giving them defined contribution insurance plans. Some people are moving people to part-time. This is a very large burden to these CEOs."

More information on this year's survey can be read here.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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