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Cautious Silicon Valley business outlook unchanged, according to latest SCU Business Index

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Nov.26, 2002 – The outlook for businesses in Silicon Valley has leveled off for another month, after a slide from optimism early in the year, according to the November business index for Silicon Valley released today by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business.

The Santa Clara University Business Index: Silicon Valley Outlook recorded a fifth straight month of little change in the respondents’ slightly optimistic assessment of the local economy in the next six months.

The latest index shows “there are no major signs of recovery ahead,” said SCU economist Mario Belotti, who has tracked the Silicon Valley economy for decades.

“The index numbers have stabilized for five months -- the economy is flattening out,” he said.

Belotti said the latest index also shows that, despite some recent positive signs, such as lower interest rates, positive earning expectations and improved consumer confidence, Silicon Valley business managers aren’t expecting any new increases in orders soon.

The Santa Clara University Business Index debuted a month ago, 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 November and earlier months, can be found at http://www.surveycompany.com/SCU/SVIndex.html.

 

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: http://www.surveycompany.com/SCUBI/SVOutlook.html

MEDIA:

Economics Professor Mario Belotti 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.

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About The Leavey School of 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 http://business.scu.edu.

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 online at www.scu.edu.

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