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BUSINESSES BULLISH ABOUT ECONOMY

SHARE BUSINESSES BULLISH ABOUT ECONOMY

Utah Manufacturers Association

Larry Bunkall, president - "We have seen 18 months of continual growth, and we are not expecting that to end for the next 12 months. The economy isn't surging forward and this isn't a cyclical boom, but it is steady, constant climb. Manufacturing is seeing an expansion of current business. Many large manufacturers are adding new jobs to increase production, and I don't see it stopping."

Utah Retail Merchants Association

Irene Jorgensen, executive secretary _ "Figures don't lie, and we feel very good about the economy. Some (retailers) are doing better than others, but generally speaking they are pleased and confident about the remainder of the year. There is no reason to feel otherwise."

Home Builders Association of Utah

Margaret Crane, executive vice president _ "It depends on who you talk to. Some (builders) are having the best year they have ever had, and others are saying it's the worst they have ever seen. Home starts are way down, and we've seen quite a few builders go to Las Vegas. But others have stayed here and found a niche. The growth markets are in the low-end and high-end homes. Interests rates should go down when the economy slows down, so we are looking forward to that. Several members feel the market has hit bottom and we are on our way up."

Utah Department of Community and Economic Development

Kirk Green, marketing director _ "We feel a momentum. We've seen a lot of efforts paying off now and things coming together. This year we will see some additional companies come into the state and some of the larger employers quietly expanding. We still face the challenge of improving Utah's image and getting on lists of consideration by companies looking to expand."