Is your outlook for the year upbeat? You’re in good company. The National Federation of Independent Business’ small business optimism index hit a 12-year high in December. The index reached 105.8, up from 98.4 the previous month. That’s the biggest one-month increase since July 1980! In addition, according to the index, 50 percent of businesses are expecting better business conditions over the next six months. That’s the largest share of optimism since March 2002.
In a New York Life survey of more than 1,200 small business owners, most respondents said they are planning some important investments in their businesses this year. About 62 percent of business owners surveyed said they plan to open an additional location or make another investment in growth and 52 percent said they planned to hire more employees. Additionally, a UBS Group AG survey found that expectations that the economy will improve over the next year have reached the highest level since before the 2008 financial crisis.
Business owners aren’t the only ones feeling upbeat. Consumer confidence hit a 15-year high in late December as well. More good news: Optimism in the business and consumer sector often spills over into a variety of industries. Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta, for example, expects it to be a great year for corporate travel.