Majority of U.S. Business Economists Believe Employment and Wages Likely to Grow

July 16, 2018, 1:24 PM UTC

The majority of U.S. business economists believe that corporate sales, hiring, and wages are on track to rise throughout the next three months—but not due to the Trump administration’s corporate tax cuts or trade disputes.

The results of a National Association for Business Economists’ Business Conditions Survey released on Monday shows that 68% of the 98 respondents predict that sales will grow over the next three months, while all of the panelists foresee the country’s GDP to expand over the course of the next year.

“Labor market conditions are tight, with skilled labor shortages driving firms to raise pay, increase training, and consider additional automation,” Sara Rutledge, chair of NABE’s Business Conditions Survey, said in a statement.

A majority of the respondents also reported that the corporate tax cuts pushed through Congress last year by President Donald Trump have not yet influenced corporations to increase hiring nor investment. The Trump administration’s tariffs on goods from Canada, China, Mexico, and the European Union also have had no impact on companies hiring, investing, or pricing, according to 65% of respondents.

Further job growth over the next three months is also in the cards according to the majority of respondents. The Net Rising Index for employment rose from 26 in April to 41 in July—an all-time high according to NABE. The forward-looking NRI rose from 30 to 38.

The most optimistic respondents represent goods-producing firms—94% believe that sales from that sector will rise, while none believe sales will decline.