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M&T survey: Pennsylvania firms expect to ramp up hiring of full-time workers

Economic growth appears to be on the right track in Pennsylvania, according to the third-quarter economic outlook survey from Buffalo, N.Y.-based M&T Bank Corp.’s commercial banking division.

Thirty-nine percent of Pennsylvania companies surveyed said they feel their metropolitan area will perform better than the U.S. over the second half of the year. And 38 percent of commonwealth firms said they plan to hire additional workers in the next six months, which was higher than those polled in New York City (22 percent), upstate New York (28 percent) and the Mid-Atlantic region (30 percent).

Of those that are hiring in Pennsylvania, 75 percent said they will hire full-time workers.

M&T has about 50 branches in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties.

Overall, the survey found that 45 percent of companies feel that the U.S. economy has improved over the last six months. That was unchanged from a year ago.

On the commercial real estate side, 63 percent of professionals said they expect transaction volume to increase over the remainder of the year. That was up from 41 percent in the third-quarter survey a year ago.

Leasing activity is also expected to be strong over the next six months. Forty-three percent of commercial real estate companies said they expect occupancy rates to grow, which was up from 36 percent last year.

Capital expenditures on equipment and software are also on the rise, according to the survey. Forty-two percent of firms surveyed said they expect to increase spending, while just 8 percent plan to reduce such outlays.

Shares of M&T are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MTB.

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