NJ businesses anticipate uptick in sales, profits in ’15

 Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, says companies in the state are anticipating a good 2015. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, says companies in the state are anticipating a good 2015. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

On the whole, New Jersey businesses are looking forward to 2015.

Member companies of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association are predicting an increase in sales and profits next year, according to results of a recent survey.

But their optimism is tempered by regulatory and political uncertainty, said Michele Siekerka, association president.

“Our companies are sitting there. They’ve got their wallets ready. They open them, they invest, they’ll spend,” she said Thursday. “But they need to know they’re not going to walk into a new mandate, a new tax, a new something that’s going to negate their ability to spend.”

State policymakers could ease those concerns by focusing on tax reform, reducing government spending, and cutting red tape, she said.

About 22 percent of New Jersey businesses surveyed indicated they’re planning to hire more workers next year, while 61 percent expect to give raises.

Health care costs top the list of challenges facing businesses, said Siekerka, with 85 percent of them anticipating the cost of health insurance will continue to rise.

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