Forty three percent of respondents participating in a quarterly nationwide poll of small business owners and managers indicated hope for an improved economy. Businesses in the Northeast, South and Midwest reported improved confidence signifying their optimistic outlook for business improvement during the next 12 months, according to the U.S. Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI), an index produced by the Small Business Research Board and co-sponsored by International Profit Associates (IPA).
"The collective opinions expressed about improvements in outlook for the economy, sales increases and additional staffing are close parallels to what businesses have reported for the first four months of 2007," said Gregg Steinberg, President of IPA. "Key sectors such as the housing industry and manufacturing have reported positive results despite concerns about weaknesses, be they regional and/or seasonal."
Looking at future revenue streams, 58% of small businesses expect increased revenue during the next 12 months. As a result, 37% said they now plan to increase hiring. Breaking this number into regions 41% in the Northeast will hire versus 27% last quarter. In the Midwest 41% will hire, versus 18% last quarter and in the South 41% will boost hiring versus 30% last quarter.
In the Northeast, the new SBCI reached 47.66 an increase from 40.36 while in the Midwest, the new index rose to 42.33 from 32.33. The SBCI in the South moved to 50 from 42.67. The SBCI was only lower in the Western region, falling 3.82 points to 45.66. A drop off in plans for hiring was the greatest factor in the lower confidence index.
More than 700 small business owners and senior managers participated in this SBRB poll.
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