Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Small business optimism ticks up slightly

In its latest Small Business Optimism Index released Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business finds a slight rise in owner sentiment about the economy. But owner pessimism about business conditions still runs strong, according to the survey.

The October survey, based on responses of 2,029 small business that are part of the NFIB, was conducted before the presidential election. The survey finds:

-Doubts about the economy run high. Owners uncertain about whether business conditions will be better or worse in six months was at a record high of 23 percent. This eclipsed the pre-recession record of 15 percent, reached during the Carter Administration, according to the NFIB.

- Weak sales remains the No. 1 business problem for 22 percent of owners surveyed.

-Access to credit is low priority among owners: 28 percent reported all credit needs met, and 52 percent said they did not want a loan. Eight percent reported that all their credit needs were not met.
-Capital spending plans were up, with 23 percent of owners reporting plans, up one percent. But only seven percent reported this was a good time to expand facilities.

“While four of ten survey components rose, the Index still remains in solidly pessimistic – and recessionary – territory,” said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg.

“…The looming fiscal cliff and the threat of higher costs and more taxes are very real possibilities come January. Until then, not knowing the direction of the economy will always have a dampening impact on spending and hiring.”

NFIB planned to post a link of the survey here. Below is the index at a glance.


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