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Orange County Business Optimism Falls to 11-Year Low

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Half of Orange County’s businesses expect to trim their staff during the coronavirus-caused recession, though the economy will start fighting its way back to growth in the second half of the year, according to economists at California State University-Fullerton.

The school’s quarterly Orange County Business Expectations Survey (OCBX), released late last week, reports that corporate optimism is at its lowest point since the Great Recession.

The OCBX index dropped from 92.9 in the first quarter to 22.7 for the current quarter. A reading of above 50 indicates belief in future economic growth, and the index itself is a measure of the overall view of the economy.

“This is the most significant decline in the index since the Great Recession of 2008-09,” the survey’s authors noted.

“It has been very sudden and very sharp because the coronavirus took us all by surprise, including the business executives,” CSUF lead economist Anil Puri told the Business Journal on Thursday, shortly after releasing the index and survey. Puri directs CSUF’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting.

“We expect a very sharp downturn in the county’s economy, based on what the business executives have said,” according to Puri. Continue reading in the Orange County Business Journal