Buffalo Grove, IL — Owners of construction and contracting businesses have an improved outlook for the general economy during the next 12 months as the Small Business Research Board (SBRB) said its Small Business Confidence Index (SBCI) increased slightly during the fourth quarter.
The construction and contracting industry reported an SBCI of 34 during the fourth quarter, a three point increase from the 31 recorded during the second quarter of 2008, according to the study co-sponsored by IPA.
The fourth quarter 2008 SBCI is set at 36 and is six points above the indicator's historical low of 30 recorded during the second quarter of 2008.
The current industry SBCI is three points higher than the construction industry SBCI of 31 reported in the second quarter of 2008. The current construction/contracting SBCI is five points lower than the overall U.S. business confidence index set during the fourth quarter of 2008.
The higher construction and contracting SBCI resulted from a positive outlook regarding the general economy in the next 12 months with 40% of the respondents reporting expectations of an improved economy over the next 12 months; this is an increase of 12 points from the second quarter of 2008. Also contributing to the higher SBCI is the determination that 27% of respondents plan to increase hiring in the next year. This is up three points from the pervious study held in the second quarter of 2008.
The report indicated 84% of the responding businesses said they have been a customer or client of their principal lender for five years or more. 51% of those that have been with their bank for an extended period of time have reported their relationship is "excellent." Within the next year, 27% will request to increase their lines of credit, 12% will request a decrease and 62% expect their lines of credit to remain the same. 37% find access to credit more difficult.
More than 500 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 on a quarterly basis.
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.
The latest information about the Small Business Research Board can be found at www.ipasbrb.net
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