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PHOENIX -- A new study has shed some positive light on the Arizona economy this year.

BMO Harris Bank released a study last week showing that a strong majority of Arizonans are seeking to invest in their business in 2014.

According to the study, 65 percent of business owners or executives were looking to invest in their business, with more than one-quarter of them expecting to upgrade or purchase new equipment, and another quarter planning on modernizing their technology and systems.

Tim Bruckner, BMO Harris' Arizona managing director, said those findings reflect a positive outlook by owners and executives on the state's economy.

"It's something that we're excited about. We're seeing a lot of capital spending going on, a lot of optimism with the uptick in the economy," he said.

When asked where owners and executives would make those investments, nearly 20 percent responded they plan to hire more employees, which Bruckner said was also another good indicator.

"When we're bringing people into Arizona to work in technology or healthcare or bioscience, these people are going to buy homes and they're going to purchase consumer goods," he said.

Of the 35 percent of executives and owners who were not interested or planning to invest in their business this year, the most popular reasons had to do with the state of the economy, that their business is already performing well enough and that upgrades were not needed.

Mark Remillard,

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