| Central Penn Business Journal
PNC survey: Small business owners optimistic
Small business owners in Pennsylvania and nationwide are more optimistic now than at any time since the Great Recession began in 2008, according to PNC Financial Group Inc.'s spring economic survey.
In Pennsylvania, 23 percent of business owners are confident about their prospects over the next six months and 18 percent plan to hire full-time staff, the survey said. Nearly two-thirds plan capital investments, up from 58 percent in the fall, and 55 percent are at least somewhat optimistic about their local economy.
Nationwide, the numbers are higher, with 70 percent of business owners planning capital investments, nearly a third planning to hire and 65 percent optimistic about their local economy.
"These findings show a significant improvement in expectations and optimism" and support PNC's forecast of an ongoing recovery in 2012-13, chief economist Stuart Hoffman said in a statement.
U.S. business owners are apprehensive about the possibility of inflation, with 69 percent expecting higher consumer prices. Large majorities expressed concerns over high federal spending as well.
Washington, D.C.-based Artemis Strategy Group conducts the twice-yearly telephone survey on PNC's behalf. For the spring edition, Artemis polled 1,697 businesses nationwide of which 152 were in Pennsylvania. The margin of error is 4.3 percentage points for the national survey, 8 percentage points for the state.