Small Business Confidence Hits Record High

By Selina Stoller, Summit Consumer Receivables Acquisitions, LLC


Small-business confidence in the United States is at a record high.

Thanks to a strong U.S. economy, small-business confidence is continuing to climb to record levels. In a deregulatory environment, jobs and the economy have become the top issues for small companies according to the latest CNBC small business survey.

The online quarterly poll surveyed more than 2,000 small business owners in the past month. The Q3 Confidence Index hit a record high of 62 (on a scale of 0 being no confidence & 100 being perfect confidence) – tied with results from the first quarter of 2018.

Dips in confidence last quarter were largely attributed to trade policy and growing partisan divide. More than a third of small-business owners expect trade policy will have a negative impact on their business in the next 12 months.

When asked specifically about tariffs on foreign companies, respondents were split by politics. 40 percent of Republican-leaning business owners think tariffs will help while 65 percent of Democratic-leaning business owners think tariffs would hurt business.

Sentiments have soared as 33 percent of companies surveyed expect to add employees in the next 12 months. Overall 58 percent of respondents say business conditions are “good” up from 53 percent last quarter and 39 percent a year ago.

Finding quality talent is a top issue. Small-business owners are reporting having trouble finding people to fill positions. 16 percent of small businesses say they have had open postings for at least three months. Labor quality is also lacking. Applicants do not have proper training, are considered lazy, and/or cannot pass drug tests. This highlights a problem hitting all areas of the economy as it continues to strengthen.

The data reflects similar findings from both the small-business group the National Federation of Independent Business and Wells Fargo/Gallup on Main Street confidence, which report levels at or near record highs.

  • 22 Aug, 2018
  • Josh Smith

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