Gallup: Small business optimism highest since '08

Small business optimism reached its highest level since 2008, Gallup said Thursday.

The small business index from Gallup and Wells Fargo jumped to +45, up 21 points from October.

Gallup found growing confidence from small businesses in a number of areas, including future prospects for revenue, cash flow and hiring possibilities.

Still, the small business index remains far below where it was before the recession and fiscal crisis more than five years ago.

“A key to improved U.S. job creation in the months to come will be whether small-business owners' greater optimism translates into actual steps to expand their businesses -- including investing more in their businesses and hiring more workers,” Gallup said.

Earlier this week, the National Federation of Independent Business said its small business index also ticked up, but remained below pre-recession levels.

“Employment starts 2014 over a million below its peak in January 2008 and prospects for a major recovery in jobs are not good,” said NFIB’s chief economist, Bill Dunkelberg. 

The unemployment rate has dropped in recent months, to 6.6 percent, even as the number of jobs the economy added has at times been sluggish.