Small Businesses Owners Pessimistic About Economy's Future

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Feb 4, 2019

Small businesses are growing increasingly worried about the economy, as a recent poll has found that only a small minority believe conditions will improve this year, while more than a third believe they will actually get worse, according to the Wall Street Journal. The  survey of 765 small firms, conducted by Vistage Worldwide Inc., found that 14 percent believe the economy will get better in 2019, versus 36 percent that believe it will get worse. The Journal noted that this is the first time since 2016 that small business owners believed their prospects were worse in the current year than in the year before. 

This survey is similar to another recent poll, a 1,000-person study, that found that 55 percent of Americans believe economic conditions will not improve this year. Of this 55 percent, 49 percent believe that political leaders in Washington are responsible, followed by 38 percent who blame cost of living increases, and 21 percent who believe it is from making less in investments. However, there could be many other reasons too, as 32 percent listed "other" when asked what major factors contributed to their bleak outlook. 

This pessimistic outlook could be a reflection of conditions revealed in another survey, which showed the number of businesses reporting diminishing sales figures to be much higher than the previous year. The data from the National Association for Business Economics showed that the number of firms reporting increased sales in the last quarter went from 61 percent last year to 47 percent this year. Conversely, those reporting falling sales nearly tripled in the same time frame, going from 6 to 17 percent. Not even the holiday season was a relief, as 20 percent of firms reported their profits fell in that period, compared to just 8 percent in October. 

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