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U.S. Bank 2014 Small Business Survey Shows For The First Time In Five Years A Majority Of Owners Are Optimistic About The Economy

For the first time in five years, a majority of small business owners are optimistic about the economy, and business owners in regions of the country that last year were most concerned about the economy are now looking up according to results of the 2014 U.S. Bank Annual Small Business Survey.

Now in its fifth year, the U.S. Bank Annual Small Business Survey measured the opinions of more than 3,000 small business owners who shared their views on the state of the national and their local economy today, general business conditions and challenges, and their outlook for 2015.

“We’re pleased to see small business optimism at a five-year high,” said John Elmore, vice chairman for community banking and branch delivery at U.S. Bank. “The survey results confirm what we’re hearing in the field. Business is strong, and while uncertainty remains and is dampening their plans to hire and expand, their outlook for 2015 is trending positive.”

The Economy In 2014, 56 percent of small business owners said they feel that the national economy is in a state of recovery or expansion, up significantly from 46 percent last year. In 2010, nearly nine out of 10 small business owners said the U.S. economy was in a recession. This year, that number reached a five-year low, with only 34 percent of respondents saying they believe the economy is still in a recession.

Do you believe the U.S. economy is in a recession, recovery, expansion, or are you unsure?
    Recession   Recovery   Expansion   Unsure
2013   43%   45%   1%   10%
2014   34%   52%   4%   10%
Note: percentages not equaling 100% are due to rounding.

States or regions in which small business owners had the strongest rebound in sentiment about the U.S. economy since last year include Arizona (14 percent), Southern California (15 percent), Washington (15 percent) and Missouri (12 percent).

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