SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

March 05, 2008 10:02 ET

Q4 Construction / Contracting Small Business Confidence Index Drops 25%; Small Business Research Board Study Reports Second Consecutive Industry Decline

NORTHFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - March 5, 2008) - The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) Construction & Contracting Industry Small Business Confidence Index (C-SBCI) dropped 12 points or nearly 25% during the fourth quarter of 2007 indicating owners and managers had significant concerns for their near term business prospects.

The C-SBCI dropped to 35 during the fourth quarter from the 47 recorded during the third quarter of 2007. It was the second consecutive quarterly drop in the index, according to the study co-sponsored by International Profit Associates.

The historical C-SBCI was set in the second quarter of 2006 when the index reached 49.3. The fourth quarter 2007 index of 35 is 4.3 points higher than the all time C-SBCI low of 30.7 set in third quarter of 2006.

The current Construction & Contracting Industry Index is 1.33 points higher than the 33.67 reported for all U.S. small businesses during the fourth quarter of last year.

Declines during the fourth quarter in all three key indicators drove the C-SBCI lower.

Only 33% of the owners and managers participating in the study believe the economy will improve during the next 12 months versus 41% during the prior period. Concurrently, 42% of the respondents said they expect revenues to increase over the next 12 months as opposed to 52% who felt the same during the third quarter. Meanwhile, 30% of the participants plan to increase hiring during the next 12 months against the 46% who reported during the third quarter they would increase hiring.

More than 950 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research.

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