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Small business owners' economic confidence reaches its highest level since Biden assumed office


Lauren Miller

April 24, 2024 - 20:00 pm


Surging Economic Optimism Among Small Business Owners

Economic optimism among business owners is on the rise, with the quarterly CNBC|SurveyMonkey Small Business Confidence Index reaching its highest level since President Biden assumed office in 2021.

Positive Economic Sentiment

Twenty-eight percent of small business owners now perceive the current state of the economy as “excellent” or “good,” marking a five-percentage-point increase from the previous quarter and an eighteen-percentage-point increase from the previous year.

Highest Confidence Index Since Biden's Presidency

The Small Business Confidence Index reading of 47 out of 100 is the highest recorded since the start of President Biden's term in the first quarter of 2021.

Emerging Confidence Despite Lingering Challenges

Although challenges like inflation persist, small business owners are adopting a more positive outlook. Recent data indicates a potential turnaround in economic sentiment after two years of stagnation.

Survey Methodology

The Q1 survey was conducted online from January 22 to February 1, 2024, among a national sample of 3,119 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up, using SurveyMonkey’s methodology.

Inflation Remains a Concern

Nearly a third of small business owners identify inflation as the most significant risk to their businesses, with concerns about rising costs and inflationary pressures lingering despite improvements in some economic indicators.

Evaluating Candidates for the 2024 Election

Inflation and interest rates emerge as top concerns for small business owners in evaluating candidates for the 2024 election, alongside considerations of economic growth and tax policy.

Impact on Small Business Operations

The challenges posed by inflation are felt by small business owners like John Morman, whose business, Celtic Tides, has experienced rising costs due to factors such as increased international freight expenses and higher production costs. Despite efforts to mitigate price increases, Morman remains concerned about consumer spending patterns and the overall economic outlook.