WASHINGTON — Economic optimism surrounding Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president isn’t confined to a surging stock market.
Locally, the businessman-turned-president’s ascendance has a plurality of executives believing he will be good for their businesses.
According to a Washington Business Journal/Colliers Greater Washington business confidence survey, 44 percent of 161 CEOs and other C-level executives think Trump would have a positive effect on their businesses, more than twice as many as those who expect a negative impact.
They’re also upbeat about the D.C. area’s economic future: 72 percent of those surveyed say the economy is strong, and more than half say it’s only going to get stronger (i.e., be better six months from now).
“A lot of the government contractors are waiting to see where the money will flow,” Douglas Fruehling, editor-in-chief of the Washington Business Journal, said on WTOP. “But we have at least half of CEOs expecting to hire in the next six months.”
Those surveyed who anticipate growth plan to add the following types of positions:
- Office support — 39 percent
- Sales — 36 percent
- Business/financial — 32 percent
- Service — 27 percent
- Construction/maintenance — 26 percent
- Managers (non-STEM) — 24 percent
- Computer workers — 23 percent
- Engineers — 21 percent
The survey was conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 17 — after the inauguration but before the unveiling of Trump’s proposed budget that experts believe would be harsh on the D.C. area, as it could mean the loss of an estimated 15,000—25,000 federal jobs in 2018.
And while Trump’s budget would boost defense spending, it also would make significant cuts in non-military spending — e.g., nearly 29 percent from the State Department, more than 31 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency and nearly 21 percent each from the Agriculture and Labor departments, reports WTOP’s sister station, Federal News Radio.
To that point, optimism about the new president is particularly high among defense contractors and low among those who work for agencies like the EPA, the survey found.
Many business owners believe there is a massive amount of waste in the federal government, and they contend that productivity will be increased when Trump eliminates it.
The recent announcement of an initiative (led by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner) to apply business-world sense to government, however, has its skeptics in the business community.
Anirban Basu, economic consultant and CEO of the Sage Policy Group, told the journal that “being successful in business does not imply success in governance.”
Read “unfiltered” comments from those executives surveyed on the Washington Business Journal’s site.
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