Optimism about the economy

Grant Thornton, the Chicago audit, tax and advisory firm, released results of its biannual survey of business executives and found improved confidence about the economy. The company talked to 1,038 top financial officers to find:

• 51 percent believe the state of the U.S. economy will improve during the next six months. That is up from 40 percent last fall.

• 42 percent said the economy will remain the same.

• Optimism was higher in Georgia, with 60 percent of Georgia financial officers saying the state of the economy will improve or significantly improve during the next six months.

• 46 percent nationally said their company’s head count would increase.

• 8 percent said it would decrease.

• And good news for those hoping for a raise or looking for a job, 64 percent of the financial officers believe salary costs will increase during the next year.