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CEOs growing more confident about economy, survey finds

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Business leaders say uncertainty about health care reform continues to pose an obstacle toward stronger economic expansion, according to a new survey.

Only 5 percent of chief executive officers and chief financial officers polled by New Jersey accounting firm Alloy Silverstein Group said they feel confident about Affordable Care Act compliance and changes taking place next year. Forty-three percent said they were slightly unsure, while 37 percent said they did not have enough information to answer the question.

Otherwise, the C-suite is showing some confidence in economic conditions.

Sixty-seven percent said they believe the country is in slight recovery, while 5 percent said the country is in major recovery. Only 27 percent reported the country is still in recession, compared with 59 percent in a November 2011 survey.

In addition, 70 percent say their company is stable, and 71 percent say the local economy is stable.

"The numbers are not as pessimistic as past surveys have been," said Ren Cicalese, Alloy managing shareholder, in a statement. "However, hiring and job creation are still greatly needed to push forward to a full recovery, especially with health care reform bringing a cloud of uncertainty and frustration to most business owners."

In terms of hiring, 36 percent of respondents say they plan to hire in the next six months, while most, 55 percent, say they have no plans to add workers.

Job creation was listed at the top concern by 46 percent of survey participants. Health care reform was next highest at 33 percent, followed by immigration reform at eight percent.

Alloy Silverstein polls New Jersey and Greater Philadelphia CEOs and CFOs quarterly on their economic outlook. The firm has offices in Cherry Hill and Hammonton.

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