Wells Fargo: Small Business Optimism Holds Steady in Q2/17

Small business optimism held onto recent gains in Q2/17, according to the latest findings from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

In the quarterly survey, which measures the optimism of small business owners, the overall index score was 95 in April, down from 100 in February when business owners reported being the most optimistic since the start of the Great Recession. The drop is not statistically significant, and small business optimism is still up significantly from a year ago when the index score was 64, as business owners continue to report improvement across most survey measures.

Many of the key metrics this quarter were almost unchanged from the Q1/17 survey. These included:

  • Strong financial situation – Seventy-three percent of small business owners said their current financial situation is very or somewhat good, up slightly from 71% in February
  • Healthy revenues – Almost half (46%) said their business’s revenue increased a little or a lot over the past 12 months, nearly the same as in February when it was 45%
  • Steady cash flow – Roughly six in 10 (63%) said that their cash flow was very or somewhat good over the past 12 months, down one point from 64% in February
  • Access to credit – Thirty-nine percent said that credit was somewhat or easy to obtain over the past 12 months, about the same as February when it was 40%

“It’s encouraging to see that for many small business owners 2017 is off to a great start, and they remain optimistic and continue to express confidence in the outlook for their businesses,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo head of small business. “Our latest survey shows us that more small business owners report plans to hire more employees, increase their capital spending and apply for new credit products in the year ahead. This is consistent with what our bankers are hearing from small business customers today. As the economy has improved over several years, more and more business owners have healthier finances and are ready to take steps to position their businesses for the long-term.”

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