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Executives expect slight or no change in business climate

Rochester Business Journal
January 8, 2013

Some 66 percent of Rochester-area executives said they think the business climate will be unchanged or improve in 2013, a decline from 75 percent for 2012, an annual survey released Tuesday by First Niagara Financial Group Inc. shows.

Some 46 percent of the executives from Rochester said the economy will be about the same this year, with 20 percent thinking it will improve slightly.

Some 27 percent of top executives locally think conditions will worsen slightly this year, with 6 percent predicting conditions considerably worse than 2012, the survey said.

“Many Rochester-area business executives continue to weather what they see as a less-than-robust economy, but with an eye on ensuring they have the right resources necessary to take advantage of any upswings in consumer confidence and spending, when they come,” Suzanne Nasipak-Chapman, First Niagara’s Rochester market executive, said in a statement.

The sixth annual poll of upstate executives was conducted for First Niagara in the fourth quarter by the Siena College Research Institute. A total of 26 questions were asked.

In Rochester, 128 CEOs, chief financial officers and other senior managers responded. Statewide, 1,142 executives in 55 counties excluding New York City and Long Island were polled.

For all of upstate, 42 percent think the economy will change little this year, 20 percent think it will improve slightly, 28 percent think it will worsen slightly, 9 percent think it will be considerably worse, and 1 percent think it will improve considerably.

The Albany market joined Rochester as the most optimistic of five upstate regions, with 66 percent predicting a similar or slightly better environment this year. Of those, 44 percent think there will be little change and 22 percent think there will be slight improvement.

In Buffalo and Syracuse, 63 percent of executives in each region think the climate will be little changed or slightly improved. In the market made up of Westchester County and the Mohawk Valley, 60 percent predict little or no improvement.

(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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