PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. small-business owners are pessimistic post-election, with the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index plunging to -11 in November from 17 in July. This is the most pessimistic that owners have been about their operating environment since July 2010, when the index stood at -28.
The quarterly survey was conducted Nov. 12-16, 2012, with a random sample of 607 small-business owners, representing the fourth quarter of 2012. Small-business owners grew increasingly optimistic throughout the first two quarters of 2012, with the index reaching a high of 23 in May. Prior to the beginning of the recession in 2008, index scores were generally higher than 100. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index was initiated in August 2003.
Owners’ Future Expectations Sink
The Future Expectations Dimension of the index, in which owners rate their expectations for their business over the next 12 months, fell 19 points to -1 in November. Small-business owners’ future expectations are at their lowest level since July 2010, when this dimension stood at -2.