Chart of the Week: Small Businesses Are More Optimistic Than Ever

Chart Small Business Optimism Index

The chart above shows the Small Business Optimism Index, along with recessions, indicated by the red shaded bars. An index reading of 100 represents neutrality, meaning that small businesses are neither optimistic nor pessimistic. In August, the index hit a new all-time high of 108.8, representing an extremely positive outlook of small businesses. As the memory of the last recession fades consumers are more willing to spend and small businesses are finally seeing the benefit. However, the rapid rise in optimism to new all-time highs gives cause for concern. While economic data continues to look good, there are growing concerns that the economic expansion could be hitting peak growth. While a recession may not be right around the corner, weaker growth could begin to negatively impact confidence levels.