Small businesses owners are not as optimistic about business conditions in the United States as they were last year, but they are still pretty confident.

After climbing steadily for three years, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, which measures small-business owners’ attitudes about a wide variety of factors affecting their businesses, dipped to +106 in 2019 from the record high of +129 set at the end of 2018.

It’s the first significant drop for the index since 2015, but also leaves small business optimism at a very high level.

“The current drop erases the gains in confidence seen in the last two quarters of 2018 and returns the index to where it was from Quarter 3, 2017, through Quarter 2, 2018,” Gallup explains.

Again, though numbers dropped compared to the previous quarter, they are still strong.  Consider:

45 percent of owners reported that their revenues increased “a lot” or “a little,” down from 55 percent last quarter;

55 percent expect their revenue to increase “a lot” or “a little” in the coming months, compared to 62 percent last quarter; and

66 percent said their cash flow is “very” or “somewhat” good, compared to 74 percent last quarter.

“Despite the decline in their overall optimism about their business, when asked to think more broadly about the economy, two-thirds of owners say that 2019 will be a year of economic prosperity rather than a year of economic difficulty,” the report said.

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