Small-business confidence in the U.S. has skyrocketed this year due to the recently enacted tax reform law, according to a new survey.
The latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, released on Tuesday, found that its Quarter One Small-Business Confidence Index increased from 57 to 62, an all-time high and the largest movement between quarters since the survey began last year.
The index is a 100-point score based on small-business owners' responses to eight questions. It is calculated on a scale from 0–100; a zero indicates no confidence, and a 100 indicates perfect confidence.
In the survey on last year's fourth quarter, small-business owners were split on how tax reform would affect their businesses. Now, since President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax overhaul into law in December, twice as many owners expect changes in tax policy to have a positive effect on their businesses.
Forty-six percent of those surveyed said that tax policy changes will have a positive effect, an eight-percent increase from the fourth quarter. The number who said tax policy changes will have a negative impact fell from 36 percent in the fourth quarter to 23 percent in the most recent survey.
While confidence rose among almost all demographic groups, the largest increases came from companies with five to nine employees, and small-business owners ages 35–44 and 55–64.
The nonpartisan National Small Business Association found that more than half of small-business owners feel the economy is doing better than just six months ago, CNBC noted. Additionally, 59 percent said they anticipate economic expansion in the next year.