Entrepreneurs are viewing the next six months less optimistically when it comes to spending capital and employment growth, but they’re a bit more positive about sales potential. So says the Quarterly Outlook of Triangle Entrepreneurs (QuOTE) survey for Q4 2015, conducted by the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic.

“Over the past year, we have seen a sharp increase and then this continued decline in overall optimism. The outlook index fell again to 103.93 (from 107.80 in Q3),” said Lewis Sheats, senior lecturer of entrepreneurship in the North Carolina State University Poole College of Management and the director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic, in a statement.

“One aspect of this survey that is particular useful is the ability to detect and identify trends. Now that we have had two quarters of decline, we would be wise to explore what factors may have precipitated this trend, relative to late 2014 and early 2015 which saw growing optimism across the board,” Sheats said.

“And, now that we are seeing a bit of increased optimism in sales, with decreased optimism in capital spending and employment growth, entrepreneurs are encouraged to watch this carefully and plan accordingly.”

In the fourth quarter 2015 survey results 81.1 percent said they expect increased sales in the next six months, while 13.8 percent expect no change and 2.6 percent forecast a decrease.

Less than half expect their capital spending to increase (43.5 percent), 9.6 percent see a decrease in spending, and 46.9 percent expect no change.

Even though those expecting employment growth declined from the third quarter this year, 50.4 percent still expect an increase, with only 3.5 percent seeing a decrease. In the third quarter, 56.7 percent expected to hire.

The NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic is an outreach of The Entrepreneurship Collaborative (TEC) based in Poole College, provides access to NC State’s team of technology commercialization experts who consult with leading companies and universities around the world.

A full report on the findings is available online at http://entrepreneurshipclinic.ncsu.edu/clinic-research/