Small business confidence has hit a new low, according to the results of a new survey released jointly by CNBC and Survey Monkey Wednesday.
The third-quarter survey found 57% of small business owners believe the United States is already in a recession, while another 14% believe the country’s economy will be in a recession by the end of this year.
Continually-rising inflation was a major concern for business owners. Of those surveyed, 77% expect inflation to continue to rise, and just 26% have confidence in the Federal Reserve’s ability to control inflation.
Inflation is the biggest risk to their business right now, according to 43% of those surveyed. That figure is up from 38% in the second quarter and represents a new high-water mark over the past year.
Of those small business owners polled, 77% expect prices to continue going up.
Republicans were more likely to have a negative view of the economy than Democrats, both in the general population and among small business owners.
A total of 69% of Republicans surveyed who own small businesses believe the country is currently in a recession, compared with 34% among Democrats in the same position.
Of those surveyed, 68% of Republicans who own small businesses describe the current state of the economy as “poor,” compared with 19% among Democrats who own small businesses.
Hiring remains a challenge for many small business owners.
More than a quarter of those surveyed — 28% — say they have open roles they haven’t been able to fill for at least three months, which is in line with the previous three quarters.
Only 7% believe it is now easier to find employees than it was a year ago, while 50% believe the situation is more difficult.
The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis said Wednesday he expects interest rates to continue climbing, but believes the United States can avoid entering a recession.
In late July, the Federal Reserve ordered another 0.75% interest rate hike amid increasing pressure to control high-running inflation that’s making essential items more expensive for Americans.
The online poll was conducted from July 25-31, 2022, among a national sample of 2,557 self-identified small business owners ages 18 and up.
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