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Gallup Says Small Business Optimism Highest Since 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 6:35 AM

The latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index shows that small-business owners reported feeling more optimistic as the year end nears, reflecting rising overall confidence in the economy and the U.S. jobs market.

The survey included small-business owners nationwide Nov. 10-14 on their sentiment about the current situation of their businesses and the performance expectations over the next 12 months. It found that small-business owners are somewhat more positive about the future than the present, although both components have risen steadily over the past two years. Owners' sentiments about their futures are higher than at any point since the first quarter of 2008.

Twenty-six percent of respondents said the number of jobs at their companies will increase in the next year, while 8 percent said the number of jobs will drop. The low point in hiring plans was in 2008 when net hiring intentions were under water. A decrease in the workforce was forecast by 18 percent, and only 14 percent anticipated an increase.

The overall index score rose to 58 in November, up from 49 in July. This is the highest score since the 1st quarter 2008 reading of 83; however, the index remains well below pre-recession readings when it topped out at 114.

Gallup noted another positive point comes from the plans to make capital investments. Half of all small-business owners said they plan to make investments next year, up from 43 percent in 2013 and 41 percent in 2012.