HARTFORD, CT — Connecticut businesses are reporting a mixed outlook for their firms, according to a survey released Monday by the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

The survey of 119 business owners found 37 percent see improved conditions for their firm, which is up from 29 percent in the second quarter. However, 24 percent are predicting worsening conditions, which is up 10 points from the last survey.

“We found that several respondent groups are outperforming the norm on growth for their firms over the next three months,” CBIA Economist Pete Gioia said.

The largest number of employers responding to the survey were in the manufacturing industry and they were particularly bullish with 43 percent reporting an optimistic outlook and just 20 percent were pessimistic.

Gioia said they’re hearing from manufacturers that they’re doing well, but they need to find skilled labor to replace their aging and retiring workforce.

But overall hiring remains sluggish.

Only 21 percent expect to grow their workforce, which is down from 23 percent in the previous quarter.

The percentage of firms expecting to shrink their workforce increased five points to 17 percent in the third quarter, while 63 percent see no change.

“The survey finds steady, but modest growth for Connecticut businesses,” Gioia said.

Connecticut companies are also increasing their exporting activities.

Thirteen percent indicated exports make up six to 15 percent of their firm’s sales, up from 9 percent last quarter. A majority reported no exporting activities.

Credit availability was not a problem for 88 percent of the respondents.