Florida has continued riding its 2018 small business optimism high. This is evidenced by Herald-Tribune reporter John Hielscher’s use of the latest PNC Economic Outlook survey as a base to praise the state’s small business optimism in an op-ed.
The survey found that 45 percent of the state’s small and midsize business owners and executives are optimistic about the U.S. economy this spring, which is up from 30 percent six months earlier.
He also cited data that reported that almost six in 10 business leaders in Florida are confident about their own companies, which is the highest level in the PNC survey’s nine-year history.
The survey lists that the number of those who are pessimistic about the economy has dropped to a historic 8 percent low.
Although that optimism is also reflected in the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index with a 104.7 reading, which marks the 16th consecutive month in the top 5 percent of the survey’s 45 years of existence, Hielscher also noted Florida’s strained labor market.
Just like the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index reading that confirms that one of the biggest issues currently facing small business owners is finding qualified workers, the PNC survey says that 38 percent of respondents said that it is harder to find qualified workers today than six months ago.
“The tight labor market and higher wage expectations are deterring some businesses from hiring,” Hielscher quoted PNC as saying in its semi-annual outlook. “Strong in-migration and the healing housing market will also support home construction and help home prices rise, lifting the region’s economy. Longer term, Florida’s economy will continue to be above average due to relatively low business costs, strong demographics and tourism trends.”