Feature Stories - 2013

Citibank Pulse Survey: Small Business Confidence Growing

    Release Date: 6/18/2013

    New York, NY -- Small business owners are feeling more optimistic about business conditions today than at any time in years, according to the just released Citibank® Small Business Pulse survey of small business owners.

    The survey, conducted by Abt SRBI, finds that almost half of small business owners (48%) rate conditions as good or excellent, up from 43% in May 2012. With the economic recovery stalled three years ago, only 1 in 4 (24%) small business owners felt positive about business conditions.

    The national survey of 750 small business owners, conducted May 16 - 30, also finds that half of small business owners say they expect annual sales to grow in 2013, with one-third saying they will grow by more than 10%. In addition, more than half (54%) expect an even stronger 2014.


    Plans for Increase Hiring and Reducing Debt

    The improved small business outlook has also stimulated hiring plans. More than 1 in 4 (26%) small business owners say they will hire full-time employees in the next 12 months, a marked improvement since the downturn hit.  Only 17% in Summer 2010 planned increased hiring.  In another encouraging sign, 13% say they are looking to add a new expansion location.  

    Fears about cash and budgets have also eased – 59% are achieving or making progress toward maintaining their cash flow, compared to the 50% who had reported facing a cash crunch by the summer of 2012. Owners are also focusing on reducing debt – 39% are paying off debt while another 22% are making progress toward a full payoff.

    Read the full Citibank® Small Business Pulse Survey release.


    This Citibank survey was conducted via telephone from May 16, 2013 – May 30, 2013 by Abt SRBI Research and Public Affairs among a national random sample of 750 small business owners/operators, age 18 and older throughout the United States. The margin of error for the national sample is approximately +/- 4 percentage points.  Surveys are subject to other error sources as well, including sampling coverage error, recording error, and respondent error.