Tuesday, July 26, 2011

But in Wisconsin We Put on a Happy Face

Uncertainty has Mass. firms wary of hiring, expanding. (Boston Globe, 7/26/2011)

Excerpt:   Bill Weissman said sales at his Fitchburg furniture-making company have been so strong this year that he considered buying new equipment and hiring new workers. But Weissman said he is “worried sick’’ that events in Washington will harm the stock market and an already fragile economy, so he is putting off expansion plans.

“It’s just got me to the point where I’m not looking to take any further risk,’’ Weissman said of the debt-ceiling debate. “At least not until I can see some stability on the horizon.’’

The political crisis in Washington has begun to affect business decisions across a wide array of Massachusetts employers, from manufacturers to real estate firms to high-tech companies. Still cautious from the last recession, many business owners worry that government leaders will be unable to reach an agreement, while others are concerned about exactly the opposite: that any agreement will invariably include spending cuts and weaken an already lackluster recovery.

The result could be even more caution among businesses, and even slower growth for the state and national economies.

From today's Wisconsin State Journal: Top official says Wisconsin could withstand no increase in debt ceiling.   (Leave it to the State Journal to downplay Huebsch's beyond-3-months observation.)

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