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Positive Gallup Surveys (Nov./Dec. 2016)

Positive Gallup Surveys (Nov./Dec. 2016)

-) Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index at highest level since January 2008
-) Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index jumps to 9-year high

Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index (1996 - 2016)

Individual investor optimism jumped to a nine-year high in November 2016, according to the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index published in December 2016. The 96 read that month marked the third straight quarterly rise and was up from 79 in the third quarter 2016, the survey said. The last time the index approached the November level was before the financial crisis, in May 2007 with a read of 95, the report said. The index was at 103 in January 2007.

The poll was conducted by phone Nov. 16 to 20, 2016, just over a week after the U.S. presidential election. At the time, the Dow Jones industrial average had gained more than 500 points postelection but hadn't crossed 19,000 yet. The Wells Fargo/Gallup study surveyed 1,012 U.S. investors with total savings and investments of at least USD 10,000. About 40 percent of American households fall in that category, the report said. Of total respondents, 42 percent reported annual income of less than USD 90,000, while 58 percent reported USD 90,000 or more.

Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey (as per 9th Dec. 2016)

Small business optimism at highest point in eight years. Business owners anticipate a promising 2017 including improved revenues and ease of obtaining credit, according to Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index.

Small business owners are the most optimistic they have been since January 2008, according to the latest Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, conducted Nov. 11-17, 2016.

In the quarterly small business survey, which measures the optimism of small business owners, the overall Index score increased significantly to 80 in November 2016, up 12 points from July 2016 and up 26 points from a year before. This represents the highest optimism reading since January 2008 when the Index score was 83, and the largest quarterly increase in a year. A major driver behind the increased optimism is how business owners are feeling about the year ahead. 45 % say they expect the operating environment for their business will be better in 2017. The increase in small business optimism was largely driven by business owners' expectations that their finances will improve in 2017.

I found following key driver of the quarter's Index particularly interesting: Hiring/36% expect the number of jobs at their company to increase a little or a lot over the next 12 months, up from 21 percent in July. This is the highest reading in the 13-year history of the survey.

"The latest overall Index score tells us that business owners are feeling positive about the future and have a renewed sense of confidence as they look to the year ahead," said Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist for Wells Fargo Securities. "Not only do small business owners report that the operating environment for their businesses will be better in 2017 than it was in 2016, but business owners are anticipating growth for their businesses in the new year as more plan to increase their capital spending, add staff and apply for credit."

About the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index

Since August 2003, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on current and future perceptions of their business financial situation. The Index consists of two dimensions:

1) Owners' ratings of the current situation of their businesses and,
2) Owners' ratings of how they expect their businesses to perform over the next 12 months.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 602 small business owners, with annual revenues up to $20 million, in all 50 United States conducted November 11-17, 2016. The overall Small Business Index is computed using a formula that scores and sums the answers to 12 questions - six about the present situation and six about the future. An Index score of zero indicates that small business owners, as a group, are neutral – neither optimistic nor pessimistic – about their companies' situations.

The overall Index can range from -400 (the most negative score possible) to +400 (the most positive score possible), but in practice spans a much more limited range. The margin of sampling error is +/- four percentage points. The highest Index reading was +114 in the fourth quarter of 2006, and the lowest reading was -28 in the third quarter of 2010.


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