47.5% of Businesses Reported Their Current Performance as Average in July 17 - 30, 2023

Biweekly Business Trends - United States - July 17 - 30, 2023

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• U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey reveals diverse views on current business performance, with a significant “Average” sentiment and a range from “Above average” optimism to “Below average” acknowledgment of challenges.

• Anticipating future performance, most businesses foresee an “Average” trajectory, while a notable group expresses optimism with an “Above average” outlook and another segment approaches the future more cautiously with a “Below average” prediction.

• Respondents’ confidence in prediction spans various time horizons, with a focus on short- to medium-term planning, a willingness to strategize for longer periods, and a forward-looking subset emphasizing the ability to predict performance beyond immediate horizons.


In a rapidly changing economic landscape, small businesses serve as vital contributors to innovation and growth. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Trends and Outlook Survey offers a comprehensive glimpse into the sentiments of these businesses, providing insights into current and future performance expectations, as well as the forecast horizon for prediction. Let’s delve into the key findings from this illuminating survey, catering to the interests of the small business audience.

Current Performance: 47.5% of businesses reported their current performance as Average in July 17 - 30, 2023

The survey data unveils perceptions of current business performance. Among respondents, a substantial portion describe their performance as “Average,” indicating a balanced perspective. This central sentiment is accompanied by a range of views, with a significant group expressing optimism through an “Above average” performance assessment. Conversely, some respondents acknowledge challenges with a “Below average” evaluation.

Furthermore, the survey reveals an intriguing contrast between excellence and adversity. A notable proportion of respondents view their current performance as “Excellent,” a sentiment reflecting high levels of achievement. In contrast, a smaller subset expresses a more challenging situation, categorizing their performance as “Poor.”

Future Performance: 50.3% of businesses reported their future performance as Average in July 17 - 30, 2023

Anticipating future prospects is a crucial aspect of strategic planning for businesses. The survey provides insights into how businesses foresee their performance in the future. The majority of respondents envision an “Average” future performance, indicating a sense of stability and continuity.

A notable subset of respondents expresses optimism, foreseeing an “Above average” future performance. This positive outlook signifies a belief in ongoing growth and success. In contrast, another segment is more cautious, predicting a “Below average” future performance, potentially highlighting concerns or uncertainties.

Forecast Horizon: 31.7% of businesses reported their forecast horizon as 4-6 months in July 17 - 30, 2023

Understanding the timeframe over which businesses feel confident in predicting their performance is crucial for effective planning. According to the survey, respondents’ confidence in prediction capabilities varies across different time horizons.

A substantial portion of respondents feel confident in foreseeing their performance within a specific timeframe. This aligns with short- to medium-term planning strategies, indicating a practical approach to predicting business outcomes. Additionally, a notable segment extends their prediction confidence to a longer timeframe, indicating a willingness to plan strategically.

Another group showcases a long-term perspective, suggesting businesses’ ability to predict performance beyond immediate horizons. This forward-looking mindset underscores strategic vision and adaptability.


The U.S. Census Bureau’s Business Trends and Outlook Survey offers valuable insights into the sentiments and expectations of small businesses. The data depicts a multifaceted landscape where businesses navigate challenges while embracing growth opportunities. As businesses plan for different timeframes, their outlook remains rooted in adaptability and a commitment to continuous improvement. This survey serves as a valuable resource for the small business community, empowering them to make informed decisions and navigate the dynamic business landscape effectively.