Data from the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index showed that small business optimism has risen nine points since the second quarter to reach the highest level since the third quarter of 2008.
Optimism about the current and future availability of credit contributed to the improvement. In the survey, 28 percent of small business owners indicated that they expect credit to be very or somewhat easy to obtain in the next year—an increase from 24 percent in the second quarter. Thirty percent expect credit to be difficult to obtain in the next 12 months—the lowest level in five years.
Most small business owners—or 57 percent—said they have seen an improvement in the housing market. Forty-two percent of business owners said their business relies somewhat or a great deal on a strong housing market, and 45 percent said an increase in housing prices would improve their sales.
One-fourth of all small business owners reported an increase in capital spending over the last year, and 26 percent said they plan to increase spending over the next year, primarily as a result of concerns related to the economy and the future uncertainty of their business.
Each quarter, Wells Fargo and Gallup survey small business owners to gauge their perceptions of present and future expectations in six different areas, including cash flow, revenue, capital spending allocation, hiring, credit availability and financial situation.