Editor’s Note: As U.S. Economy Grows, Which States Are Best for Business?
As the economy continues to improve, Area Development is interested in finding out where companies will continue to grow and add jobs.
As the economy continues to improve, Area Development is interested in finding out where companies will continue to grow and add jobs. In order to answer that question, for the sixth consecutive year, we asked a highly respected group of location consultants to give us their picks for the Top States for Doing Business, based on the states’ overall business environment, labor climate, and infrastructure/global access. The results of that survey are presented in this issue. Not surprisingly, as in years past, the states in the South hold the lead, with Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama (tied with Florida) in the top five spots, respectively.
The Top States for Business can continue to be optimistic about their chances for landing projects based on the latest economic forecasts.
It has been noted by several consultants that it’s difficult to provide generalized rankings — i.e., the top state for a project is primarily based on project-specific needs being met and can change dramatically from company to company and from project to project. Nonetheless, when company CEOs were asked by Chief Executive magazine to name their 2015 “Best States for Business,” the results were markedly similar to those garnered by Area Development’s recent survey of leading consultants to industry. The responding CEOs named Texas, Florida, North Carolina (in the #7 spot in our survey), Tennessee, and Georgia — in that order — as their “Best States for Business.”
The Top States for Business can continue to be optimistic about their chances for landing projects based on the latest economic forecasts. According to Kiplinger, economists are projecting U.S. GDP growth of 3 to 3.5 percent in 2015’s remaining two quarters. The only snag they see is a strong U.S. dollar, which makes goods and services pricier and less competitive in foreign markets. So while demand for U.S.-made goods is growing at home, a slow-growing economy in China and a further slowdown in Europe may dampen export and overall U.S. economic growth. As Michael Gapen, the chief U.S. economist at Barclays, told The New York Times (7/31/15), it “would help…if the rest of the world were doing better.”
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