Reason for optimism in Illinois' economic outlook?

Published 01/16 2014 11:14AM

Updated 01/16 2014 11:18AM

ILLINOIS -- Here's something you don't hear too often, hope appears to be on the horizon for the state's economy. Two new surveys of business owners say they're actually optimistic about the coming year. The surveys seem to show businesses have some faith in the economy.

BMO Harris Bank talked to a group of Illinois business owners and found 46% expected their business to grow this year; 40% said their business would stay the same and 15% expected their business to shrink. Half of those business owners say they expect the economy to improve this year.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses found much of the same in its latest survey. It's also cautiously optimistic.

Experts say, reasons for the confidence are more jobs on the market and more money to improve businesses. However, at the same time, consumer spending is lagging, which keeps those business owners from completely jumping for joy.

These business owners were much more confident in the nation's economy than they were in Illinois'. It's going to take awhile to restore confidence in that.

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