Small business leaders say they’re more enthusiastic about the US economy, according to a new survey from JPMorgan.
The 2017 Business Leaders Outlook found that small business executives from across the US are more optimistic about the global and national economies and think that the Trump administration will be a positive for the country.
The bank surveyed roughly 1,400 executives, and 80% said they were optimistic about the national economy. That’s up nearly 41 points from the 2016 edition of the survey.
About 68% said they were encouraged about the outlook for their local economies, an 18 point increase from the year before. Only 3% and 5% of these executives were pessimistic about the national and local economies respectively, according to JPMorgan.
Trump is inspiring at least some of this optimism. According to the survey, 76% said that the new administration will be good for the US economy, while only 12% said Trump would be a negative.
Those that were positive on a Trump presidency say his promises to cut taxes and regulation should be upside contributors to the economy. Negative concerns came over the more protectionist trade policies that Trump has promised.
Trump has already begun to introduce a combination of these policies since taking office. He has rolled back regulations on the financial sector via executive order and signed bills repealing restrictions on energy firms and other industries. He has also said he’ll renegotiate trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump has also promised a tax plan that will lower the costs for businesses, though the details haven’t been released.
The survey did show that small business owners are feeling the pinch of a tighter labour market. The number of respondents who said that a limited supply of talent is a serious challenge for their business rose by 4 points to 44%, while 46% said managing labour costs is a problem.
Additionally, 57% said they are planning to hire staff in 2017, up 8 points from the year before, while a whopping 71% of executives said their firm expected to increase compensation this year, up 10 points from the year before.
This survey seems to reflect recent surveys of enthusiasm for the US economy like consumer confidence and manufacturing purchasing manager surveys that have shown a significant uptick in positive opinions of the US economy. Harder data on economic activity had been lagging this optimism, however, but recently has started to back up the Trump excitement.
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