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U.S. Small-Business Owners' Optimism Highest Since 2008.

Byline: Coleen McMurray and Frank Newport

Synopsis: U.S. small-business owners are the most optimistic they have been in seven years, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. Owners are more positive about both their current and future situations.

PRINCETON, N.J. -- U.S. small-business owners are the most optimistic they have been in seven years, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. The index, at +71, has increased significantly for two consecutive quarters, and reflects optimism in small-business owners' views of both their current situation and their expectations for the future.

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The latest quarterly Small Business Index survey was conducted Jan. 5-9, 2015. The overall Small Business Index score has increased significantly, from +58 in November and +49 in July 2014. While still below pre-recession levels, the index is the highest it has been since January 2008's +83. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index measures small-business owners' views of their present situation and future expectations concerning their financial situation, cash flow, revenues, capital spending, hiring and credit availability.

Small-business owners' evaluations of their present conditions increased to +28, up from +21 last quarter. At the same time, the future expectations component continued to climb to +43, up from +37 in November. Both of these dimensions, like the overall index, are at their highest points since 2008.

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The overall rise in the index reflects more positive readings on a number specific dimensions:

Bottom Line

Small-business owners' improving views of their revenues and other aspects of their businesses have propelled the overall Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index to its highest level since 2008. This continues the general upward movement seen in the index since it reached its low point in 2010, although it remains below the high points registered in the years prior to the Great Recession. Small-business owners' more upbeat views of their operating environments come at a time of generally positive economic trends in economic growth and unemployment, as measured by the government, as well as year-over-year upticks in Gallup's consumer-based reports on employment, company hiring and consumer spending.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews with 603 U.S. small-business owners in all 50 states, conducted Jan. 5-9, 2015. The margin of sampling error is 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

For more information about Wells Fargo Works for Small Business, visit Follow us on Twitter @WellsFargoWorks.

Learn more about how the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index works.

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Article Details
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Author:McMurray, Coleen; Newport, Frank
Publication:Gallup Poll News Service
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 5, 2015
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