SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Silicon Valley’s economic engine may still be humming along, but it does appear to be downshifting into a slightly slower gear, according to the recently-released results of the latest annual CEO Business Climate Survey.

“They’re still hiring here overall,” pointed out Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which conducts the study. “But, just not quite as strong as 2012 and in 2011.”

An estimated 46% of Silicon Valley companies plan on adding workers this year, according to the survey. That’s down, compared to the previous two years.

“Those numbers in hiring are not quite as strong as 2012, when it was 50% planning to hire in Silicon Valley…or in 2011, when a full 60% were planning to hire in Silicon Valley,” acknowledged Guardino.

Guardino attributes the slowdown to mostly overseas factors like slowing growth in Asia and the overall rocky economic picture in Europe.

There are local challenges, too, according to the survey: high housing costs, traffic, business regulations and taxes.

“We like traffic, because it means that the economy has picked up, but we still don’t like being stalled in our cars,” he pointed out.

Approximately 10% of companies surveyed warned that layoffs were possible in 2013.

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