TribLIVE

| Home

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Many German businesses in Pittsburgh are optimistic amid slowdown, survey shows

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

Related .pdfs
Can't view the attachment? Then download the latest version of the free, Adobe Acrobat reader here:

Get Adobe Reader

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
 

A majority of members of the German American Business Circle of Pittsburgh are optimistic about the future of their businesses and expect their profits to increase this year over last year.

But the percentage of positive respondents to many questions in an annual survey by the German American Business Circle of Pittsburgh declined this year compared to last year.

For example, 42.9 percent of businesses said they expect the size of their workforce to increase by the end of this year, down from 55.2 percent last year.

And 71.4 percent said they are optimistic when it comes to the outlook for their business, which was down from 77.3 percent last year.

The German American Business Circle will release its annual economic outlook survey results during a meeting on Wednesday in Hofbrauhaus Pittsburgh at the SouthSide Works. Allegheny Conference CEO Dennis Yablonsky will deliver the meeting's keynote speech on the regional economy.

Germany is Western Pennsylvania's largest foreign investor, with 70 companies here who employ 11,000 people. Pittsburgh-area companies export about $500 million in products and services to Germany each year.

Tony Pauly, vice president and general manager of Ventana USA, a vinyl manufacturer for window and door manufacturers in Export that is active in the German Circle, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about his business in 2013.

“We are depending on how strong the housing market is going to come back,” Pauly said. “We see a slight uptick in business compared to 12 months ago.”

Pauly said he expects sales next year to increase by 5 percent.

“My customers, when I talk about them about the forecasting for 2013, there's an improved confidence that next year will be better,” he said.

Of the survey's 109 respondents, 59.3 percent said they expect customer demand to increase this year, but that was down from last year's survey when 61.5 percent of respondents said they expected an increase.

Joe Peilert, CEO of Veka Inc., a vinyl extrusion company in Fombell, Beaver County, said responses varied depending on industry.

“If you're active here and relying on Europe or China, there's a slowdown,” Peilert said.

Like Pauly, Peilert sees housing picking up in 2013 and is feeling “very optimistic” about Veka's business.

One area that garnered more positive responses this year over last year had to do with new business related to Marcellus shale natural gas.

Respondents were asked whether Marcellus shale would provide their companies with a significant business opportunity in the next five years. This year, 24.2 percent said it would, compared with 18.5 percent last year.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

Add Alex Nixon to your Google+ circles.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Bubble soccer bounces its way into Western Pa. sports venues
  2. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  3. Since 1969, Pine resident Fitzgerald’s garden has flourished
  4. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  5. Stocks bounce back from big losses to close relatively flat
  6. Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
  7. Fashion FYI: RAW: Pittsburgh showcase features over 40 artists
  8. Turkey aims guns at Kurdish rebels
  9. Passing the illegals buck
  10. Confirm Judge Restrepo
  11. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment