Lee County’s business climate is heating up, according to the Executive Business Climate Survey published by the Horizon Council and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). The survey of Lee County business executives and owners computed a quarterly business climate index of 73 for the first quarter of 2018. That’s a five-point increase over the fourth quarter 2017 index, and it’s the second-highest measure ever recorded for the survey since its inception in 2012. The current index measure represents a break from several quarters of historically low measures in 2016 and a slight improvement in 2017. In 2016, an election year marked with uncertainty, the index averaged 63.8. In 2017, it rose to 67.5. The index results from calculations made to survey responses of Lee County business executives and is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. Business executives also were asked about the effects of housing attainability on their industry and 43 percent of the survey respondents agreed with the statement that housing attainability and cost have affected their firms’ ability to recruit and retain workers, while 41 percent neither agreed or disagreed and 16 percent disagreed. The full report is available at
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