WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County businesses are more optimistic now about the local economy than in most other quarters since 2008, according to a survey released by The Business Council of Westchester.
The Westchester Business Confidence Index, designed and conducted by DataKey Consulting of Mount Kisco, measured 66 on a scale of one to 100 for the fourth quarter of 2013, which was up from 58.8 during the previous six months.
The index focuses on key issues such as staffing levels, revenues, profits, capital spending and other performance metrics.
“These numbers are encouraging as they are strong signals that the economy is improving, but we’re not ready to pop open the Champagne just yet,” said Dr. Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of The Business Council of Westchester, in a statement. “There’s a lot of work that needs to be done on property taxes, regulations and economic development."
The October unemployment rate in Westchester was 5.9 percent, which was below the national rate of 7.7 percent reported by the New York State Department of Labor.
Despite that, businesses remain cautious about the near future because of concerns about higher cost of living expenses and local regulatory controls.
One respondent said the employment picture remained fractured in the county whereby skilled labor is doing better, but low skilled workers are still struggling.