Economic / Future Trends

Small biz CEO confidence in economy falls 21% in one year, shows Jan. 2019 WSJ/Vistage survey


The economic optimism of small business CEOs has dropped significantly in the past year, according to new data from the Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey.

The survey, which polled 765 small business CEOs between January 8-14, recorded a CEO Confidence Index of 95.2. This represents a decline of 21% from last January, when the index measured 102.5. The current index is the lowest level recorded since the 2016 presidential election.

Dr. Richard Curtin, a researcher from the University of Michigan, attributes this decline to CEOs’ negative views about the national economy and uncertainty about the future, among other factors.

“While a decline in the pace of economic growth in 2019 has been anticipated for some time, the recent data reflect increased uncertainty due to a host of issues including the partial government shutdown, the impact of tariffs, instabilities in financial markets, the global slowdown, and the lack of clarity about monetary policy,” Curtin explained.

Download the report to learn more about the survey results, including:

  • Prospects for the national economy this year
  • Factors impacting the outlook for small business
  • CEO expectations for profits and revenues
  • Ratio of companies increasing their prices in 2019

Download full infographic

Category: Economic / Future Trends

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About the Author: Joe Galvin

Joe Galvin is the Chief Research Officer for Vistage Worldwide. Vistage members receive the most credible, data-driven and actionable thought leadership on the strategic issues facing CEOs. Through collaboration with the Vistage community of…

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  1. This WSJ/Vistage Small Business report is very revealing. Take a good look. You can see serious market trends moving to a slower economy. Now what is your plan or are you just going to react after it hits?

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