Tuscaloosa Metro Area Report

Alabama Business Confidence Index™

Second Quarter 2021

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Very Strong Metro Business Confidence Registered in Q2 2021

After a year of navigating heightened uncertainty due to COVID-19, Tuscaloosa business leaders are turning a corner and feeling very optimistic about economic growth heading in Q2 2021. The metro’s ABCI registered at a strongly confident 65.6 this quarter, up 11.8 points from Q1 2021. With all component indexes above 60, metro panelists are confidently forecasting improved economic conditions for their own businesses as well as the state and nation as a whole.

Second Quarter 2021 Outlook

Tuscaloosa Statewide
ABCI 65.6 64.3
Alabama Economy 71.9 70.7
US Economy 66.2 63.6
Industry Sales 66.7 68.4
Industry Profits 62.7 61.3
Industry Hiring 64.5 62.3
Industry Capital Expenditures 61.8 59.7

Index above 50 indicates positive outlook as compared to last quarter.
Index below 50 indicates negative outlook compared to last quarter.

Tuscaloosa Component Index Analysis

  • Alabama Economy: With over 80 percent of Tuscaloosa panelists expecting a better Alabama economic outlook in Q2 2021, the statewide outlook was the highest index this quarter at a very strongly confident 71.9. This is a 14.3-percent increase from the previous quarter’s index of 57.6.
  • US Economy: This quarter, Tuscaloosa business leaders are also anticipating improved U.S. conditions with strong confidence. The index registered at a very confident 66.2 in Q2 2021 after increasing 13.5 points.
  • Industry Sales: The metro sales index is the highest index for the quarter at a strongly positive 66.7 after growing 12.2 points from Q1 2021. This indicates strong confidence in increased sales compared to the previous quarter.
  • Industry Profits: Area business leaders expressed strong optimism in increased profits this quarter. The index increased 10.0 points to register at 62.7 for Q2 2021.
  • Industry Hiring: With an index of 64.5 after an 11.5-point increase, industry hiring is forecast to surpass its Q1 2021 levels with strong confidence.
  • Industry Capital Expenditures: This quarter, metro business leaders forecast an increase in capital expenditure compared to Q1 2021 with a strongly positive index of 61.8. This is a 9.5-point increase from the previous quarter’s mildly positive outlook.


Tuscaloosa Response Breakdown

Historical Tuscaloosa ABCI™ and Industry Component Indexes

ABCI Tuscaloosa in Context

With an index of 65.6, Tuscaloosa business leaders are expecting a strong economic rebound in Q2 2021. After three quarters of the metro’s ABCI being consistently below the statewide index, Tuscaloosa had the highest Q2 2021 ABCI in the state, surpassing all the other metro’s in business confidence. The area’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts are well underway, and after being very conservative in their expectations for the last few quarters, Tuscaloosa panelists are forecasting economic growth in Q2 compared to Q1 with notably strong confidence.

Confidence soared across the state in the Q2 2021 survey with all metro ABCIs registering above 63. Business confidence was highest in Tuscaloosa with an ABCI of 65.6, followed closely by Birmingham-Hoover at 65.5. Mobile’s ABCI reached 64.6 this quarter while Huntsville and Montgomery both had ABCIs of 63.8 for the quarter. All of the metros communicated incredibly favorable forecasts for all of the component indexes but especially the Alabama economic outlook and the industry sales index.

ABCI™ by Metro Area

Tuscaloosa ABCI™ Compared to Statewide ABCI™


The Center for Business and Economic Research would like to thank the Alabama business executives who completed the second quarter 2021 ABCI™ survey. This is the 78th consecutive quarter this report has been recorded, and it would not have been possible without your participation.
Be sure to log in during the June 1–15 survey window to record your opinions about economic prospects and industry performance looking ahead to the third quarter of 2021.


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This report was produced in partnership between the Center for Business and Economic Research at the The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Analysis provided by Susannah Robichaux, Socioeconomic Analyst, Center for Business and Economic Research, Culverhouse College of Business, The University of Alabama.