Most CPAs Divided Over Whether New Jersey’s Economy Will Remain the Same or Worsen for the Rest of the Year
Respondents Are More Positive Than Last Year
New Jersey’s economy is expected to stay about the same during the second half of the year compared to the first half, according to 44% of the 434 certified public accountants surveyed by the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJCPA) in June. An equal number (44%) believed it would worsen. Only 12% believed it would improve.
The moderate stance is more positive than the same economic survey initiated by the NJCPA in 2022, which showed nearly 65% of CPAs believing New Jersey’s economy would worsen during the second half of the year and 28% of CPAs believing economic conditions in the state would stay the same. Only 7% thought it would improve.
Inflation and the ability to find skilled personnel are two of the biggest challenges facing survey participants this year, at 66% and 53%, respectively, followed by state and federal policies that are unfriendly to businesses (40%) and rising interest rates (39%).
Last year, the survey showed similar top concerns, but inflation at that time was a heavier worry at 73%, followed by the availability of skilled personnel at 57%.
“Surveys like this one are a good way to gauge sentiment in all facets of society. It’s not surprising that inflation was more of a concern last year,” said Roosevelt D. Bowman, a senior investment strategist with Bernstein Private Wealth Management.
“As strategic advisors to their clients and organizations, CPAs are good sounding boards about the business environment. Our members always have a great read on what’s important for growth and sustaining business operations,” said Aiysha (AJ) Johnson, MA, CEO and executive director of the NJCPA.
On a broader scale, respondents this year were also more positive about the national economy. A higher majority (47%) believed the U.S. economy would stay the same during the second half of the year and 37% said it would worsen, while last year only 23% said it would stay the same and 69% said it would worsen.
Going forward, respondents said the most helpful steps government could take to improve business conditions include implementing measures to ease inflation (73%) and reducing burdensome regulations (66%). Respondents recommended addressing the needs of small business, lessening the tax burdens of individuals, cutting government spending, reducing the pension burden and incentivizing people to work.
The survey, sponsored by Bernstein Private Wealth Management, was conducted to gauge CPAs’ outlook on the national and New Jersey economies midway through the year.
Watch an interview with Roosevelt Bowman about the survey results: