Bank Study Says Small Business Confidence "Steady"


The financial condition of US small businesses continue to show signs of improvement according to data from Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF). Hiring is improving as well:

Small businesses started the year off on more solid footing in the first quarter of 2012 and the initial gains over 2011 have remained consistent, even showing some improvement in the second quarter of the year. On the hiring front, the survey found a two-year high in the percentage of small businesses planning to add jobs over the next six month, with 37 percent reporting plans to hire.

Compared with a year ago, 44% of small businesses report improvement in their financial condition during the first half of 2012. The outlook for the rest of the year is not so rosy:

The national business outlook indicates that concerns over sales and price margins, have diminished small business confidence in their prospects for the remainder of 2012.

Small businesses continue to have problems finding the right person to hire for any job openings even though more than a third plan to hire new employees.

According to the survey, 25% of small businesses have attempted to get financing in the second quarter of this year, the highest number in nine quarters. However, more than 40% report that it is more difficult to get financing now than it was just six months ago.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, business and finance, Research Tagged: COF