Business

Business Economists More Optimistic, See Little Healthcare Law Effect

[Los Angeles Times]

Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 sits at the M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport in Hollister, Mo., Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Leader, Valerie Mosley)
Southwest Airlines Flight 4013 sits at the M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport in Hollister, Mo., Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Springfield News-Leader, Valerie Mosley)

WASHINGTON — Economists working for U.S. businesses are more optimistic about growth this year and see little effect from the start of healthcare reform or the reduction in a key Federal Reserve stimulus program, according to survey results released Monday.

More than 40% of respondents in the January survey by the National Assn. for Business Economics said they expected their firms to raise prices in the first three months of the year, the largest percentage since 2012.

But despite the brighter outlook, the pace of hiring is not expected to increase, the survey said.

“The outlook for 2014 is strengthening” said Jack Kleinhenz, the group’s president and chief economist at Kleinhenz and Associates.

“On net, survey respondents are more optimistic in their economic outlook and, regardless of any changes in monetary policy, expect their firms’ performance in 2014 will be superior to that in 2013,” he said.

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