Small Business Confidence Reaches Six-Year High

Outlook In Ad Specialty Industry Also Brightening

Small Biz OutlookA new survey from Wells Fargo and Gallup shows that small businesses are feeling increasingly positive about the year ahead. In fact, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index reveals that optimism among small business owners has reached the highest level in six years.

The quarterly survey of small business owners, conducted at the beginning of April, shows that the overall Small Business Index score moved to positive 47 in April, up two points from positive 45 in January 2014. Brightening outlooks are helping increase optimism, as the future expectations index is higher than at any point the since the start of 2008.

“The trend of business owners feeling more confident each quarter is a positive sign,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo’s head of Small Business and Pacific Midwest regional banking president. “These results are one more indicator that the recovery continues for small businesses.”

Outlooks in the ad specialty market are also brightening as the first quarter Counselor Confidence Index, an exclusive measure of distributor confidence in the industry’s business moving forward, reached 114, which is a record height for the index. Also, ASI’s First Quarter Sales Survey shows that distributors increased their revenues by 6.4% in the first three months of 2014, the fastest quarterly growth since early 2012.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup survey reported that one main reason that small business outlooks are improving is because companies are more positive about their ability to obtain credit in the year ahead. The percent of businesses expecting credit to be difficult to obtain in the next 12 months (26%) is at its lowest level since the third quarter of 2008.