According to recent findings from its biannual national telephone survey, PNC Financial Services reports that owners of small and mid-sized businesses are upbeat about the U.S. economy due to expectations for sales and hiring increases over the next six months.

In its Economic Outlook Survey, PNC finds that 71 percent are optimistic about the economy, which would be the highest percentage since 2005. That itself is up from 55 percent in the spring. Additionally, 77 percent say they are optimistic about their own local economies, the highest since 2014.

“Hope” was the word chosen to best describe how many are feeling about the impending business climate, at 55 percent of those surveyed. “Enthusiasm” garnered 16 percent, “fear” received 11 percent, and “despair” was only chosen by 4 percent.

Many business owners, including bakery owners, expect sales to climb over the next half year. 51 percent believe so, and 47 percent project profits to rise. 22 percent of those surveyed expect to bring on new full-time employees in the coming months, with only 8 percent saying they will reduce staff.

Bakeries seem to be set up well, in comparison. Retail bakeries have successfully carved a spot in which consumers no longer think of their products as commodities, having successfully adapted to evolving food trends. They are a staple of most American communities, and will continue to be in the future.

"The glass for small business owners appears half full instead of half empty, but they aren't ready to buy a round for everyone," says Stuart Hoffman, PNC's chief economist. "We expect to see moderate economic growth for the rest of this year with enough improvement for a federal funds rate increase at the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting in December."

Infographic courtesy of PNC Economic Outlook for October 2016.