Executives across the country are increasingly encouraged about the economic recovery, and executives in Greater Cincinnati have extra reason to be optimistic.

AICPA Economic Outlook Survey

According to the most recent AICPA Economic Outlook Survey, business executives expressed much more optimism about the U.S. economy during the first quarter of 2012 than in the third and fourth quarters of 2011. Sixty one percent of respondents said they expect their business to grow in the next 12 months, and 14 percent said they expect to hire additional staff immediately.

“Optimists now outnumber pessimists on the U.S. economy by an almost 2-to-1 margin, which is a striking change from six months ago,” said Carol Scott, AICPA vice president for business, industry and government. “While a substantial number of respondents remain neutral, we’re seeing a clear shift toward a more positive outlook for the coming year.”

Business executives also foresee better things for their own companies. Some 55 percent said they were optimistic or very optimistic about the outlook for their organizations over the next 12 months, compared to 45 percent last quarter.

Tax Foundation Report

Meanwhile, a recent report by the Tax Foundation listed Ohio and Kentucky among the best states for business taxes, particularly for new companies. Ohio was judged to have the third-lowest overall tax cost for new operations and the fifth-lowest for mature operations (the study included only corporate entities, not S-Corporations, LLCs or partnerships).

Kentucky ranked seventh for new operations and 18th for mature operations, thanks to relatively low sales tax, unemployment insurance taxes and property taxes. Indiana ranked 15th for new operations (including second for new retail and fifth for new R&D) and 43rd for mature operations.

The Tax Foundation report on business taxes by state is available at taxfoundation.org. A full copy of the Economic Outlook report is available at aicpa.org.

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