In the latest gauge of small business optimism, 63% of respondents rated current conditions as either excellent or good.
The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index measuring the attitude for this year's final quarter gained six points to an all-time high of 142. This was reached in spite of the grinding trade difficulties with China.
Business owner's evaluation of the present situation added three points as did their forecast of future expectations. Eighty-one percent of them rated their financial situation as either very good or somewhat good. The percentage of firms that anticipate their finances 12 months out to be very good or somewhat good increased a point, which was again an all-time high.
Positive factors cited by the Wells Fargo Economics Group included the strongest labor market in nearly 50 years, the Fed's interest rate cuts and the solid gains the stock market continues to put up.
On the downside, 33% of business owners fear that a recession is either somewhat very likely or extremely likely within the next year. And the proportion of them that predict that their finances will be somewhat poor or very poor in 12 months hit an all-time low.