Small Business Quarterly Indicators

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has started an interesting new feature that we’ll be watching closely here at Small Business Trends, called “Quarterly Indicators.” The Quarterly Indicators are a compilation of economic trends likely to impact small firms.

What do these Indicators suggest for the first quarter of 2004? Here are a few highlights, mostly all positive:

  • Manufacturing production, which had been weak, is up. Capital spending is also up, meaning small businesses are buying equipment and making other major purchases.
  • Proprietor’s income has increased by 10% over the past year. Corporate profits increased a healthy 31.4% over a year’s time.
  • And it looks like the ranks of incorporated self-employed are up, now at 5.2 million compared with an average of 4.4 million over the past 3 years.

Oddly, despite the positive economic growth and improvement, small business sentiment has dipped a bit since December 2003. The SBA speculates that this dip may be due to small business owners’ concern over slow jobs growth in the US economy as a whole. But overall, sentiment is still higher than in the past 5 years. You can find the Quarterly Indicators in the most recent edition of the SBA newsletter.

Comment ▼

Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

Comments are closed.