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U.S. small-business owners still upbeat

Staff Writer |
U.S. small-business owners continue to display optimism about business conditions in the fourth quarter of 2017.

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This is according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey.

In the quarterly survey, which measures small-business owners' attitudes about a wide variety of factors affecting their businesses, the overall index score has declined slightly to +103, after hitting a 10-year high of +106 in July.

The Oct. 2-6 survey finds small-business owners reporting a more positive picture of their revenues in the fourth quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter in 2016.

Forty-six percent say their revenue has gone up over the past year, versus 37% a year ago. Similar year-over-year increases are seen in owners' reports of their cash flow and their ease of obtaining credit.

The percentage of owners rating their company's current financial situation as "very good" or "somewhat good" is now 71%, down from last quarter's 76%. This, however, remains higher than the 66% seen one year ago.

The percentage of owners who plan to increase the overall number of jobs at their business has ticked up in the fourth quarter to 32%, compared with 27% last quarter.

This is the highest since the fourth quarter of 2016, which was also the highest in that calendar year.

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