Small Business Optimism Rises, But Remains Low By Historic Standards


WASHINGTON, (UPI) — Optimism among owners of small U.S. businesses rose marginally in July, a national trade group said Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business said their monthly Small Business Optimism Index rose “a mere 0.6 point in July to 94.1,” pointing out that the index “continues the historically weak trend of owner confidence which has led some observers to suggest that [the] Index should be renamed Small Business Pessimism Index,” the trade group said.

“On the positive front, while the two labor market indicators remained weak, both improved and are beginning to push into ‘normal’ territory,” the monthly report said.

“Let’s not get too excited. The level [94.1] is still well below the average reading of 100 in the prior 35 years and still half a point below the December 2007 reading [at the start of the recession],” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement.

The survey asked what was the most important small business problem in July. Twenty-one percent of respondents indicated taxes were the most important concern and an equal percentage indicated government requirements and red tape were the most pressing problem.

Third on the list was poor sales, which was indicated by 16 percent of the respondents.

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