SEATTLE – Balancing the budget biennially is best for the state economy, but certain budget cuts will do more harm than others, Seattle business executives said in a recent survey.
 
In the latest in a series of surveys conducted by Washington State University’s School of Economic Sciences and the Seattle Business Executives Association, respondents said the best option for the state economy is for the state government to continue to balance the budget biennially. The survey was conducted at the end of the first quarter of 2011.
 
However, the majority of those surveyed said cutting roads and infrastructure, as well as higher education, would bring the greatest harm to the state economy. The fewest number of respondents thought cuts to electricity and other utilities would greatly harm the economy.
 
The executives surveyed also weighed in on overall economic conditions in Seattle.
 
“There is some interesting news,” said WSU economist Andrew Cassey. “Though there seems to be sluggishness in the national economy, our participants indicated that both their sales and employment numbers were up compared to the last quarter of 2010.”
 
Survey participants were split about what to do about dramatically rising gas prices. “Half said this would either not affect their business or they would absorb the cost,” Cassey noted. “But another 39 percent said they would pass costs on to consumer by increasing prices.”
 
The full survey report is available at impact.wsu.edu.