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Ohio business outlook bullish on Trump

Ohio business leaders have a vastly improved economic outlook than they did at the beginning of last year tied largely to their hopes that President Donald Trump’s proposed economic policies, including tax cuts and deregulation, will accelerate growth and lift corporate profits, according to a new survey.

A whopping 85 percent of middle-market businesses in Ohio say they expect the policies of President Trump and a Republican-led Congress to have a positive impact on their business, up 18 points from 2016, based on the results of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s 2017 Business Leaders Outlook survey.

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The survey of more than 1,400 middle-market executives across the country found 78 percent of Ohio business leaders expect sales to increase over the next 12 months, up 10 points from 2016, and 74 percent expect profits to increase, up 16 points from the previous year.

President Donald Trump greets Greg Sandfort, chief executive of Tractor Supply Co., during a meeting with the Retail Industry Leaders Association and member company chief executives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, in Washington earlier this month. Business leaders are confident President Trump is steering the economy in the right direction, based on the results of a new survey. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times (Staff Writer)

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The survey of executives at middle-market businesses — defined as having company revenue ranging from $20 million to $500 million — was conducted from Jan. 3 to Jan. 20, the day President Trump took office.

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Overall, U.S. middle market executives are twice as optimistic about the U.S. economy than they were last year with the share of optimists climbing from 39 percent to 80 percent, according to the survey.

And their confidence in President Trump was reflected in diminishing concerns about fiscal policy and regulations.

In Ohio, about 63 percent of respondents in this year’s survey were still concerned about how health care regulation under the Affordable Care Act would impact their business, but share of businesses that still had concerns was down 10 points from 2016.

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About 39 percent of Ohio respondents in the 2017 survey were concerned about fiscal policy, and 40 percent were concerned about labor regulation, but those percentages were down 9 points and 1 point, respectively.

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