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TOP SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BUSINESS EXECUTIVES' ATTITUDES ON POST-GULF WAR ECONOMY REVEALED IN YEAR-END SURVEY

 TOP SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BUSINESS EXECUTIVES' ATTITUDES
 ON POST-GULF WAR ECONOMY REVEALED IN YEAR-END SURVEY
 Business Leaders Forecast Slow Growth in State
 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- With the first anniversary of the Desert Storm military offensive approaching, Southland business executives participating in a year-end survey, voiced their support for the recent war but concern over its impact on both the national and California economies.
 The survey of approximately 300 executives was conducted in conjunction with a symposium on developments in world affairs, the United States and California in the wake of the Gulf War. Sponsored by financial services company GE Capital, the symposium featured former U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.
 Nearly three-quarters of the Southern California executives responding to the 12-question survey indicated that the Gulf War had either a mixed or negative impact on their business, while only 8 percent said their enterprises benefitted. Additionally, 84 percent of those surveyed said the Gulf War had a negative or mixed impact on the overall Southern California economy.
 Despite the perceived negative economic impact of the Gulf War, 90 percent of the survey respondents supported the United Nations' multi-national military response and indicated that diplomacy would not have been as effective. Also, 86 percent suggested that they would support future military action against Saddam Hussein in the event of non-compliance with U.N. directives.
 Responses to questions about the national recession indicate that top executives are less optimistic about the California business climate than they are with the United States' overall economic picture. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said that Southern California's economic growth would be less than national growth, while only 22 percent suggested that the Southland would outpace the nation's economy.
 Only 1 percent of the executives polled would characterize Southern California economic growth in 1992 as "significant." More than one-third suggested that the recession in the Golden State will continue to worsen in the year to come. Mirroring this sentiment, 60 percent of the respondents said their overall confidence in the Southland economy has decreased.
 Despite the negative predictions for the year ahead, many executives see opportunities for Southern California businesses participating in the rebuilding of Kuwait. Infrastructure development presents the most opportunity, according to 26 percent of those surveyed.
 The profile of the average survey participant is that of an upper or middle manager (89 percent) working in the financial services industry. A significant percentage of the respondents also are involved in retail/wholesale distribution and real estate. While companies of various sizes were represented in the survey, a quarter of the participants work for businesses generating between $401 million and $2.5 billion in revenue annually. Fourteen percent are employed by companies with revenues under $5 million.
 The survey and symposium were part of the GE Capital Executive Dialogue Series, a program in which prominent political and business personalities are invited to address top executives. Held at various times of the year in different regions of the United States, recent series have featured Henry Kissinger, Peter Ueberroth and T. Boone Pickens.
 Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., GE Capital is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services companies with assets in excess of $77.4 billion.
 GE CAPITAL EXECUTIVE DIALOGUE
 The Post Gulf War Economy Executive Survey
 1. In general, how would you rate the impact of last spring's
 Gulf War on you business?
 A. Negative impact......................... 37 pct.
 B. Mixed impact, has had positive
 and negative effects....................36 pct.
 C. Positive impact...........................8 pct.
 D. No impact................................19 pct.
 2. In general, how would you rate the impact of the Gulf War on
 the Southern California economy?
 A. Negative impact..........................37 pct.
 B. Mixed impact, has had positive
 and negative effects....................47 pct.
 C. Positive impact..........................10 pct.
 D. No impact.................................6 pct.
 3. Prior to the Gulf War, did you think Saddam Hussein
 represented a real threat to energy reserves needed by the
 United States, as well as American business interests?
 A. Serious threat...........................38 pct.
 B. Marginal threat..........................46 pct.
 C. No threat................................16 pct.
 4. In hindsight, do you think diplomacy would have been as
 effective as a show of military might?
 A. Yes.......................................4 pct.
 B. No.......................................90 pct.
 C. Possibly..................................6 pct.
 5. Were you a supporter of a United Nations military response to
 the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq?
 A. Yes......................................90 pct.
 B. No........................................5 pct.
 C. Somewhat..................................5 pct.
 6. Would you support future military action against Saddam
 Hussein in the event of non-compliance with United Nations
 directives?
 A. Yes......................................86 pct.
 B. No........................................5 pct.
 C. Possibly..................................9 pct.
 7. With the rebuilding of Kuwait, in what business sectors do
 you see the greatest opportunities for Southern California
 businesses?
 A. Traditional manufacturing.................8 pct.
 B. High-tech................................14 pct.
 C. Service industries.......................13 pct.
 D. Natural resource-based industries........14 pct.
 E. Infrastructure development...............26 pct.
 F. Financial services........................6 pct.
 G. International trade.......................8 pct.
 H. Aerospace/defense........................11 pct.
 I. No opportunities...............(less than 1 pct.)
 J. Other..........................(less than 1 pct.)
 8. In 1992, I see economic conditions in Southern California:
 A. Continuing deeper into a recession.......34 pct.
 B. Leveling off.............................33 pct.
 C. Entering a slight growth pattern.........32 pct.
 D. Entering a significant growth pattern.....1 pct.
 9. What is your opinion of Southern California economic growth
 compared to the national economy?
 A. Less than national economy...............48 pct.
 B. Equal to national economy................30 pct.
 C. Greater than national economy............22 pct.
 10. Since the Gulf War, your overall confidence in the U.S.
 economy has:
 A. Increased.................................8 pct.
 B. Remained the same........................41 pct.
 C. Decreased................................51 pct.
 11. Since the Gulf War, your overall confidence in the Southern
 California economy has:
 A. Increased.................................6 pct.
 B. Remained the same........................34 pct.
 C. Decreased................................60 pct.
 12. How will the "peace dividend" impact the Southern California
 economy, especially the aerospace/defense industry?
 A. Very negatively..........................30 pct.
 B. Somewhat negatively......................54 pct.
 C. Not at all...............................10 pct.
 D. Somewhat positively.......................6 pct.
 Executive Profile
 1. Executive level:
 A. Upper management.........................57 pct.
 B. Middle management........................32 pct.
 C. Other....................................11 pct.
 2. Major business represented:
 A. Finance..................................36 pct.
 B. Retail or wholesale distribution.........19 pct.
 C. Traditional manufacturing.................4 pct.
 D. Professional services.....................6 pct.
 E. Real estate..............................13 pct.
 F. High-tech manufacturing...................5 pct.
 G. Construction..............................4 pct.
 H. Other....................................13 pct.
 3. Size of executives' company:
 A. Under $5 million.........................14 pct.
 B. $5-$20 million...........................13 pct.
 C. $21-$50 million...........................9 pct.
 D. $51-$100 million.........................10 pct.
 E. $101-$200 million.........................6 pct.
 F. $201-$400 million........................12 pct.
 G. $401-$750 million.........................5 pct.
 H. $751-$1.5 billion.........................8 pct.
 I. $1.6-$2.5 billion........................12 pct.
 J. Other....................................11 pct.
 -0- 12/30/91
 /CONTACT: Michael Muraszko or Chris Doyle of Manning Selvage & Lee, 818-509-1840, for GE Capital/ CO: GE Capital ST: California IN: SU: ECO


KJ-SE -- LA014 -- 5786 12/30/91 19:08 EST
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