WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. small-business owners are more optimistic now than at any point in the 15-year history of the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index. In the latest quarterly survey, which measures small-business owners' attitudes about a wide variety of factors affecting their businesses, the overall index score is +118. This is higher than prior 2018 measures -- with Quarter 2, 2018, at +106 and Quarter 1 at +107. The index now sits just above the record-high +114 from 2006.
The improvement in the index, based on interviewing conducted July 11-18, 2018, is driven by overall increases in most of the areas that make up the score, with record-high readings on several of these individual metrics. The biggest improvements compared with the second quarter of 2018 were found on the following items, most of which are now at high points in their trends:
- Current financial situation -- 78% of small-business owners rate it as very or somewhat good, compared with 73% in the second quarter of 2018.
- Cash flow in the past 12 months -- 69% rate it as very or somewhat good, versus 63% in the second quarter.
- Cash flow expectations in the next 12 months -- 77% very or somewhat good, compared with 72% last quarter.
- Credit availability in the next 12 months -- 49% say it will be very or somewhat easy to get credit, versus 44% in the second quarter.