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Survey: Business Leaders Confident About Economy

Small businesses in the U.S. are feeling enthusiastic about the economy, according to an annual survey from JPMorgan Chase. More than three-quarters of executives polled believe Donald Trump’s White House will have a positive effect on their firms, thanks to policies like tax reform and reduced regulation. Only 12% of those surveyed believe the administration will have a negative impact on business.

The 2017 JPMorgan Chase & Co. Business Leaders Outlook report states that confidence in the economy has been on the rise since the election. The report found that 80% of middle-market business executives are confident about the economy – double last year’s percentage. For small businesses, 62% of leaders are feeling confident, up from 43% last year.

The report is based on a survey that ended the day of Trump’s inauguration, January 20, but a senior economist for JPMorgan Chase says business enthusiasm isn’t just because of the change of administration. The year-to-year increase also stems from an absence of the market turmoil that marked January 2016, when stocks were dropping due to crashing oil prices and turbulence in China, according to Jim Glassman. “You were catching people at a time of significant worry,” he added of last year’s survey.

The businesses polled in JPMorgan’s survey say the top goal of government should be reducing regulations, followed by lowering taxes and improving infrastructure. Most respondents, 57%, plan to hire more full-time employees in the coming year, an 8-percentage-point increase from 2016, and 71% of those surveyed plan to raise compensation in 2017, an increase of 10 points from last year.