SOURCE: International Profit Associates

September 17, 2008 13:48 ET

U.S. Small Business Confidence Index Decreases Nearly 14 Points; Small Business Research Board Study Finds Sizeable Decrease in All Key Indicators

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - September 17, 2008) - Decreases in all key indicators lowered the Small Business Research Board (SBRB) U.S. Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) to 30 during the second quarter of 2008, according to the latest report issued today.

As previously reported, the SBCI from the survey conducted during the first quarter of 2008 was set at 43.67, nearly 14 points (31.3%) higher than the current index of 30.

More than 1,000 owners and managers participated in the nationwide SBRB poll co-sponsored by International Profit Associates (IPA).

Small business owners and managers throughout the U.S. reported lower levels of expectations for the next 12 months in all three categories comprising the confidence index.

Only 22% of the respondents indicated they intend to increase hiring the next 12 months, a decrease of 15 points from the 37% who reported increased hiring in the previous study.

Of the participants, only 28% said they believe the economy will improve, 14 points lower than the last study.

The current report also showed 40% of the businesses are projecting revenue increases, 12 points lower than the 52% last quarter.

The results for the four major U.S. regions mirrored the overall findings. Owners and managers in the Northeast region were most pessimistic, recording a regional SBCI of 23, 7 points lower than the national average. Small businesses in the South/Southwest states were most optimistic with an SBCI of 38.

The SBRB first began reporting a confidence index in the fourth quarter of 2005. When it was first introduced, the SBCI was set at 55.3.

"The SBCI hit a historic low in the 2nd quarter," said Gregg M. Steinberg, President of IPA. "Given that this is a 12 month, forward looking view, it would appear that the small and medium-size business community feels we have not reached bottom yet."

     SBRB Confidence Index Comparisons
           SBRB Confidence Index
                  All U.S.

     Q2 2008                  30.0

     Q1 2008                  43.67

     Q4 2007                  33.67

     Q3 2007                  43.0

     Q2 2007                  46.0

     Q1 2007                  40.78

     Q4 2006                  42.7

     Q3 2006                  39.3

     Q2 2006                  47.3

     Q1 2006                  52.0

     Q4 2005                  55.3

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.

IPA provides directly, or through its affiliated companies, a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at www.ipa-iba.com.

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the SBRB, please contact Jennifer Cumbee, (847) 495-6786.

Contact Information