A recent index by Gallup and Wells Fargo indicates that optimism among small business owners has reached its highest level since the recession in 2008. This marks the second straight increase for the quarterly index.

According to a Washington Post report, access to credit and a continually improving housing market are contributing to the rise in small business confidence. And while the index remains below historic averages, there have been more reasons for optimism lately, including an increase in hiring expectations among small businesses.

Despite a notable recovery since 2008, it hasn’t been an entirely smooth ride. The index has been cautious, and at times halting. The index rose in the middle of 2011 and 2012, and was followed each time by a sharp dip at the end of the year. This time however, more economic indicators seem to be pointing in the right direction.

To read the Washington Post’s full report, please click here.

Washington Post