February 11, 2019
By Mary Miller
Contributing Editor, Main Street Monday
Main Street Monday — Decreased Revenues Reflect Decreased Optimism
Stats reported from the first quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index of 2019 show a decrease in small business owners optimism levels.
The overall index score came in at 106, reflecting a decline of 23 points from last quarter’s record high of 129.
Optimism levels regarding present financial situations dropped to 46, a decrease of 13 points from last quarter.
Optimism levels regarding the future business outlook also dropped to 60, a decrease of 10 points.
Forty-five percent of small business owners indicated an increase in company revenues, down from 10 points last quarter, while 25% reported a decrease (up 8 points).
Optimism levels regarding anticipated revenue over the next 12 months also decreased, with 7 points fewer of the business owners expecting an increase in revenue in 2019.
More than 77% of participants indicated they are somewhat or very prepared for a potential economic downturn in the future, as opposed to 23% who indicated they were not very or not at all prepared.
Sixty-seven percent of small business owners indicated that 2019 would be a year of economic prosperity, while 29% indicated it would be a year of difficulty.
“With the various economic indicators we’ve seen, the decrease in revenues and outside factors like the government shutdown, business owners are predictably more cautious than in 2018,” says Mark Vitner, Wells Fargo senior economist. “With that said, their responses around preparedness and their continued sense that 2019 will be a prosperous year economically indicate a sense of caution as opposed to a prediction of an economic slump.