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posted on 30 June 2015

June 2015 Thumbtack Small Business Sentiment Shows Decline in Economic Conditions

by Thumbtack

In June, respondents nationwide indicated reduced optimism about the economy for the third month in a row, though sentiment about current and future conditions continues to be higher than it was one year ago.

Via its network of more than 150,000 active service professionals, Thumbtack has the unique capability to regularly survey this otherwise difficult-to-reach population. Said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack:

The third monthly release of Thumbtack's Small Business Sentiment Index reflects a slowdown in economic conditions that started at the beginning of the year. The small businesses we survey provide personal services to families across America, and by studying their sentiment in real time we can get an advanced look into the outlook for American household spending.

Key findings include:

  • For the second month in a row, small businesses expressed increasing pessimism about future economic conditions, which has been the largest contributors to the decline in overall sentiment.
  • Inflation expectations continue to remain in check, having been mostly flat over the last six months after a one-time jump in the middle of last year.
  • Expectations of future credit conditions were the most resilient indicator of the 11 states Thumbtack looked at, continuing to reflect a general increase in the ease of obtaining loans over the last two years.
  • Economic conditions in the South continue to be generally more positive than in the nation overall.

The full results can be seen here and include details on the relative sentiment of each state and city, how businesses in each area responded to survey questions, and hundreds of quotes from small businesses nationwide. Each state and city also has its own dedicated webpage showing detailed survey results for that area.

Bloomberg Professional service customers can access this data and additional industry level analysis at {ECST T TACKUSBS }.

Survey methodology

Thumbtack.com has surveyed tens of thousands of small businesses quarterly since December 2012. The survey asked questions about how small businesses are feeling about the general economic environment and health of their business, such as:

  • How would you rate your company's financial situation today?

  • Have you attempted to fill any part-time or full-time positions over the past three months?

  • How do you expect the prices you charge to your clients or customers to change over the next three months?

Thumbtack.com and Bloomberg then used the survey responses to create a weighted index that demonstrates Small Business Economic Sentiment in one easy-to-understand number between 0 and 100 - an index score above 50 means sentiment is positive; an index score below 46 means sentiment is negative. The full methodology paper can be found here.


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