CTNJ file photo

A quarterly survey of business executives by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association found that 84 percent expect business conditions for their companies to improve or remain the same over the next three months.

That’s down slightly from the 86 percent the organization found during its last survey, according to a CBIA press release. The last survey the organization did was in the fourth quarter of 2013. There was no survey conducted for the first quarter of 2014.

Pete Gioia, a vice president for the association, said business optimism should be increasing.

“The numbers should be improving, but confidence among business leaders seems to be stalled,” he said. “More needs to be done to encourage growth and investment in Connecticut.”

The good news is that sales, production, and workforce trends held steady since the last survey. Thirty-nine percent of respondents expect increases in production and sales, while 19 percent predict decreases. The survey also found 24 percent plan to expand their workforce, while 15 percent see it shrinking.

The survey also suggested that the number of businesses who feel Connecticut’s economy is improving dropped from 18 percent to 14 percent. Meanwhile, the number who feel the national economy is improving increased from 26 percent to 30 percent.

“The numbers show that Connecticut’s economy continues to lag the nation and much of the Northeast,” Gioia said.

National employment increased by 209,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Aug. 1. Connecticut specific numbers for July are expected later this month.

CBIA mailed the survey out in July and the results are based on responses from 219 business executives. The survey has a 6.8 percent margin of error.