PITTSBURGH, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania business leaders are significantly more optimistic than pessimistic about business conditions for their own industries and the state's overall economy in 2011 compared to the same time last year, according to First Niagara's Annual Survey of Pennsylvania Business Leaders released today.
In addition to this increased optimism, almost half of business leaders surveyed also expect higher revenues and 37 percent expect improved profitability in 2011, but only one-quarter of them are ready to commit to adding workers to their labor force.
Survey results were based on responses from 872 executives of private businesses in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as well as Allentown, Scranton, Altoona, Harrisburg, Erie, Lancaster, Reading and York.
"Businesses have fought through and survived the toughest economic times of the past 80 years," said John R. Koelmel, president and CEO of First Niagara Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FNFG), the parent company of First Niagara Bank. "Although still cautious, the increasingly optimistic outlook is very encouraging as we continue to emerge from the economic challenges we experienced."
"Our 2011 survey reflects what we see on the front lines with our customers across Pennsylvania," Koelmel added. "As a strong, community oriented bank, we have seen improving demand for loans from businesses seeking to renew meaningful investments in their organizations to drive top-line growth."
Responding to First Niagara's second annual survey of Pennsylvania business leaders, conducted during the final quarter of 2010 by the Siena College Research Institute, were chief executive officers, chief financial officers and other senior managers of private businesses with $5 million to $200 million in annual sales.
Survey results are available at http://www.fnfg.com/CEOSurvey.
ABOUT FIRST NIAGARA
First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Niagara Bank, N.A., has $21 billion in assets, 256 branches and $13 billion in deposits. First Niagara Bank, N.A. is a multi-state community-oriented bank providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses. Upon completion of its pending merger with NewAlliance Bancorp, Inc. -- subject to customary closing conditions including approvals from regulators -- First Niagara will have more than $29 billion in assets, $18 billion in deposits and 340 branches across Upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.fnfg.com.
SOURCE First Niagara Financial Group, Inc.