Maybe the economic recovery never happened. Nationally, the first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GPD) slowed to a 0.5% annual growth rate and a survey shows that California’s small business owners are paying themselves dramatically less than they did last year.
The U.S. had grown 1.4%, 2%, and 3.9% in the previous three quarters. That marks the slowest opening quarter growth rate of the previous two years.
The statistic, released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), showed that consumer purchases increased by 0.9% in the first quarter compared to an increase of 1.5% in the fourth quarter 2015.
A survey by American Express shows that small business owners in California are paying themselves $ 66,030 a year compared to over $ 86,000 in 2015. The 2016 American Express Open Small Business Monitor survey also shows that part-time workers across the country are sought after more than full-time workers with 16% of small business owners looking to hire part-time compared to 13% who plan to hire full-time.
Next week’s jobs report may show a spring rebound. Analysts predict the report will show an increase of around 200,000 new jobs, and that will be in line with recent gains. Don’t expect much more though as uncertainty continues to reign. A report by MarketWatch states that “many economists doubt business investment will show much strength in 2016. A tepid global economic scene and a tumultuous U.S. presidential election marked by heavy anti-corporate rhetoric appears to have made business executives more cautious.”
For small business owners, the economy remains the number one election issue. According to the American Express survey, 32% say the economy will most influence their vote in the November presidential elections while 16% say tax policy and healthcare are important. Only 6% say that immigration is a deciding factor. What small business owners really want is likely leaders who offer economic stability.