Business owners are feeling optimistic, especially when it comes to overall business outlook and the U.S. economy. The Paychex Business Sentiment Report shows the sentiment on these two measures is trending up since the last report in July 2018. The report is the result of polling 600 randomly selected business owners with 500 employees or less about topics likely impacting their profitability and prospects for growth.
On a scale of 1-100 with 1 representing the highest level of pessimism and 100 representing the peak of optimism, business owners’ overall business outlook is up six points since July from 65 to 71 and their confidence in the U.S. economy is up five points over the same time period to 65. A complementary study of the same sample of business owners revealed economic growth is the top issue they’re watching heading into November’s midterm election.
Other topics business owners continue to be optimistic about since July’s report include:
Access to capital: +3 points to 65
Ability to make capital investments: +3 points to 62
Overall regulatory environment: +3 points to 53
Ability to raise wages: +2 points to 51
Ability to fill open positions with qualified candidates today: +1 point to 51
In a statement, Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO said: “While the tight labor market is still making it difficult for some businesses to hire and retain qualified candidates, it’s encouraging to see that today’s business owners aren’t letting that impede their general outlook or ability to grow.”
The only topic to experience a slight drop compared to July’s report is respondents’ ability to find new customers, which slipped a single point to 68. However, among all topics covered in the survey, business owners’ confidence in attracting new business still ranked second only to overall business outlook (71).
Data included in the Paychex Business Sentiment Report was taken from the results of the Paychex Business Survey, administered by Bredin, a third-party research firm. The survey was conducted online between September 12, 2018 and September 24, 2018 polled 600 randomly selected principals of U.S. companies with 1-500 employees. Results are representative of how small business owners feel, on a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 representing the highest level of pessimism and 100 representing the highest level of optimism. This Business Sentiment Report will be distributed on a trimester basis with the next report coming in the spring 2019.