Small business owners are the most optimistic they have been since July 2008 and expect increased revenues and more hiring this year, according to a new survey by Wells Fargo and Gallup.
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The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey for the period Jan. 9-13, 2012 now stands at positive 15 for January, compared to minus 3 in October and following two previous readings of zero, indicating the small business owners surveyed were neither optimistic nor pessimistic.
Forty-nine percent of the small business owners surveyed said they expect revenues to increase a lot or a little, up from 37 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. In addition, 63 percent anticipate their company’s financial situation to be very or somewhat good over the next 12 months, up from 55 percent in the fourth quarter.
“January’s increase in optimism signals that small business owners are seeing a brighter future,” said Wells Fargo small business segment manager Doug Case in a statement. “While this economy still presents challenges for many business owners, we are encouraged by expectations for improved revenues, financial situation and cash flow, which have the potential to drive job growth.”
In terms of hiring, 22 percent of the respondents expect the number of jobs at their company to increase a lot or a little, up from 15 percent in Q4 2011, while 8 percent expect the number of jobs at their company to decrease a lot or a little, down from 13 percent in Q4.
When asked about cash flow, 53 percent of the surveyed small business owners expect their cash flow to be very or somewhat good this year, up from 48 percent in Q4 2011. In addition 27 percent of the respondents expect credit to be very or somewhat easy to obtain, up from 22 percent in Q4 2011; while 38 percent expect credit to be very or somewhat difficult to obtain, down from 43 percent in Q4 2011.