Even before the gloomy pre-Thanksgiving news about the closing of the General Motors plant in southeast Oklahoma City, a national accounting firm's survey found some softness in the state's economy.

Grant Thorton Accountants and Business Advisors said its survey showed Oklahoma business leaders somewhat less optimistic about the overall U.S. economic outlook this year than last year.

However, they remain positive regarding the overall economy and their individual industries. Sixty-three percent of the survey's respondents said they anticipate economic improvement in the coming months. The same question brought an 84 percent answer in 2004.

Sixty percent of the business leaders polled expect improvements in revenues, profits, employment and capital investments in the local economy. More than half of them report more employees from the previous year, up from 34 percent in the original 2004 survey.

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