I thought you might be interested in this observation from Greg Hinz at Crain’s Chicago Business:
Chicago-area business leaders are moderately optimistic about how economic conditions will fare under President-elect Joe Biden. But they’re less peppy about the fiscal future in the city and state, expressing particular unease about what hasn’t been done to curb growing public-pension debt.
Those are the dominant themes to emerge in the latest edition of The Harris Poll Chicago Executive Pulse survey, conducted in partnership with Crain’s in the wake of the 2020 presidential election.
The quarterly survey, designed in such a way as to track changes in sentiment over time, found that 57 percent of the 200 business execs and owners questioned say they believe the incoming Biden administration will have a positive effect on job growth, with only 31 percent disagreeing. The remainder were undecided. That opinion came even though those surveyed clearly fear Biden may cost them some money, with the sample split 39 percent to 38 percent on whether his impact on corporate income taxes will be positive or negative.
Those surveyed weren’t as positive about the city or state, which are run by two other Democrats, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Asked about the state of the economy, 48 percent said they believe conditions will be good or very good nationally in six months, compared to 44 percent in the city and just 41 percent in the state.
What they’re worried about, of course, is the public pension overhang for both the city and the state. Spoiler alert: they don’t know what to do about it, either.
Here was the eye-opening part:
Consistent with the last survey, a whopping 53 percent of local business leaders say expect to reduce or end their office lease when it expires, and 51 percent intend to wait more than six months to bring all of their employees back to the office.
or, said another way, we may not be going back to normal but to “normal”.