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Local business optimism is soaring


February 22, 2017
By David Blake
Originally Posted on WWL Radio

Despite the drag of tough times in the oil patch, a new report from JP Morgan Chase finds optimism is soaring among Louisiana business executives compared to just a year ago. 

The business leaders outlook report shows 81 percent of Louisiana middle market company executives feel optimistic about their companies, that's a 23 percent jump.

Seventy-two percent of these executives expect revenue and sales to grow and roughly the same number expect an increase in profits.

Stephen Waguespack, President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, says he is hearing the same thing.

''They see regulations in a more sensible perspective, they're seeing tax reform being talked about and the business community has been begging for this for years and they're finally starting to see it,'' said Waguespack.

He says even oil and gas companies and service companies are planning to start investing this year, based on what the market could look like in 2018.

''These are the highest numbers of optimism in the last seven years," said Waugespack. "It's because of the change we're seeing in the federal approach.''

Waguespack said he hopes the Trump administration will follow through with campaign promises to unburden companies.