N.J. business leader says the worst is over

While their own prospects are improving, New Jersey companies have big doubts for the overall economy in the coming year.The New Jersey Business and Industry Association’s survey of more than 1,300 companies finds overall sales and profits increased this year. And they’re anticipating additional gains next year. But a higher number of businesses have a negative outlook for the broader economy. Association President Phil Kirschner said Tuesday the area is settling in for a period of slow, gradual growth.”You know, we were at an F last year and now we’re not. We’re at a D. That’s still not very good, but it’s better than it was,” he said. “We’ve bounced off the bottom and will continue to improve. So I do believe the worst is over.”Kirschner, who is long way off said employers are planning only a slight increase in their workforce next year, said it will take several months of consistent growth for the pace of hiring to pick up. To have a full-blown economic recovery in New Jersey, Kirschner said the state’s struggling  real  estate market must improve.

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