Business confidence in Orange County dropped precipitously from the first quarter of 2020 to the second, according to the Orange County Business Expectations Survey, released in early April by Cal State Fullerton’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting.
“It has been very sudden and very sharp because the novel coronavirus took us all by surprise, including the business executives,” Anil Puri, director of the center, told the Orange County Business Journal upon the report’s release.
The quarterly poll of business leaders assesses the strength of the local economy. Titan economists derive an index from the survey data; an index of more than 50 indicates future economic growth. In 2020, the first quarter index of 92.9 fell to 22.7 in the second — the most significant decline since the Great Recession of 2008-09.