Small Business Expectations Down, but Fundamentals Remain Strong
This quarter, the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index recorded the first significant drop since the survey began in 2017. Conducted in the midst of the longest federal government shutdown in history, the survey score dropped from 69.3 in Q4 of 2018 to 65.6 in Q1 2019.
The change is largely due to a decline in economic outlook and expectations (both national and local), but small business owners report their fundamental business operations remain strong:
- More than half of small business owners (56%) expect increased revenue in 2019, down only slightly from last quarter (60%).
- More than one in four small business owners (27%) plan to increase investment over the next year, almost unchanged from Q4 (29%).
- A similar number of small businesses report plans to increase staff over the next year (29%), compared to last quarter (30%).