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Fewer, smaller office parties this holiday season, managers and executives tell SCU Business Index

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Dec.19, 2002 – Growing numbers of Silicon Valley workers are getting coal in their stockings this holiday season, according to the latest monthly business survey by Santa Clara University.

The monthly Santa Clara University Business Index asked Silicon Valley executives and managers this month about holiday spending by local companies and themselves.

  The results:

  • 61 percent say their company is not hosting a holiday party
  • 75 percent are not giving any paid time off
  • 7 percent expect to receive a holiday bonus
  • 58 percent report their employer is spending less this holiday season than last year.
  • 60 percent plan less holiday spending this year in their households; just 10 percent plan to spend more.

While companies may be tightening their belts this holiday season, the December survey released today by SCU’s Leavey School of Business also showed that Silicon Valley executives and managers continue to be slightly optimistic about their business prospects in the next six months. And the average combined fourth quarter responses of the SCU Business Index were slightly improved, on average, over the third quarter.

The latest index “suggests that investors and firms are still guarded about the prospects for a revival in the next six months,” said SCU economist Kris Mitchener.

“Signs of this abound in the Valley. Employment has yet to turn around. Sales of chip-making equipment have shown recent gains, but orders, reflecting future purchases, remain soft at best.”

The Santa Clara University Business Index debuted in October after a year in development. The survey has been tabulating results since February 2002 to affirm its validity and establish trends.

This new monthly business indicator, the only one of its kind for the Silicon Valley region, is a composite index that every month tracks business conditions in Silicon Valley companies and their markets, as well as trends in job availability in the region, by polling the region’s executives and managers.

The  SCU Business Index asks managers and executives in a wide range of businesses in Silicon Valley to assess their business prospects for the next six months, and in comparison to the past six months, as well as the current and future availability of jobs in their companies. It is managed for the Leavey School of Business by The Survey Company.

The last time the survey respondents expressed significant optimism about current and future economic conditions in Silicon Valley was in May.   Complete SCU Business Index results and methodology for December and earlier months, can be found at

About the Santa ClaraUniversityBusiness Index:

The Santa Clara University Business Index survey polls several hundred MBA alumni and several dozen members of its business advisory board,, all in managerial and executive positions in Silicon Valley companies.

The survey elicits both a backward-looking as well as a forward-looking indicator, thereby capturing the sentiment of the past six months' trend and its counterpart six months into the future. The reported averages of these indicators offer an aggregate summary of business sentiment in the Valley. The indicators range from 0 to 100, centered on 50. Values below 50 imply negative sentiment, and those above 50 imply positive sentiment. A comparison of the backward swing to the forward one reveals the change in sentiment. The survey is conducted every month and over time is meant to develop an early warning system of upswings and downswings in the Silicon Valley economy. Detailed results, profile of respondent samples, and methodology for the index are available at:


Economics Professor Kris Mitchener   is available for comment on the SCU Business Index, and the Silicon Valley economy.  Contact SCU Media Relations at 408-396-4491 to arrange an interview on Thursday, Dec.19.


About The LeaveySchoolof Business
The Leavey School of Business at
Santa Clara University began in 1926, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business program has been recognized as one of the best in California, and its MBA program has been ranked in the nation’s top 20 part-time programs. More than 80 percent of its 1,043 MBA students are working professionals in Silicon Valley. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,054 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is on line at




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