Optimism About the Economy Remains High Across Regions
NATIONAL SCORE: 69.3
Across the country, small business owners are similarly positive about the small business environment. For the second quarter in a row, small business owners in the West report the highest levels of overall business health at 67%, down only one point from Q3.
Growth in regional index scores have slowed in the Midwest over the last quarter and have begun to decline. Compared to Q3, fewer Midwest businesses rate the overall health of their business as good (58% in Q4, down from 66% in Q3). The Midwest is also experiencing the largest decline in comfort with cash flow compared to the previous two quarters, from 87% in both Q2 and Q3, to 80% in Q4.
In the Northeast, outlook about the health of the national economy has jumped up from the previous two quarters, with 61% of businesses reporting that the U.S. economy is doing well (compared to 45% in Q3 and 46% in Q2).
Small business owners in the South lead in positive perceptions of the local economy at 64%, up from 49% in Q3, the largest increase across regions. Businesses in the South are also markedly more likely to report to report anticipated increases in staffing (40%) and revenue over the next year (68%).