Executives of Sonoma County businesses are more confident about the current and near-term future prospects for the local economy than 2006, when the local economy started slowing, and are even more positive about their own industries, according to new report.[poll id="58"]

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And the business outlook over the next six months for Sonoma County is positive in several industries, according to a periodic survey commissioned by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

The business confidence level for Sonoma County reached a six-year high in winter 2013 with a score of 6.36 out of 10. Local businesses have become more sure of their future since the recessionary period of 2007–2008. The confidence index hit a low of 3.2 in the first quarter of 2008.

The six-month outlook for the local economy that many months ago was 5.3. That suggests the economy continues to improve, according to the board’s report.

The board’s purchasing trends index rating for Sonoma County was 70 this winter. A purchasing index score above 50 suggests economic expansion.

This is the second year since 2007 that the county’s index was higher than that of the U.S., suggesting Sonoma County business leaders feel less economically challenged than those in the U.S. as a whole, according to the economic development board. [read more of this story and see supporting graphs]