Small business confidence drags

February 13, 2013 -  By

Small-business owner confidence continues to drag, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index. The Index gained 0.9 points, rising to 88.9, failing to regain the losses caused by last month’s “fiscal cliff” scare. Expectations for improved business conditions increased by five points, but remain overwhelmingly low—negative 30 percent—the fourth lowest reading in survey history. Actual job creation and job creation plans improved nominally, but still not enough to keep up with population growth.

NFIB Optimism Index

Small business optimism is dragging, according to the NFIB’s survey, conducted in January 2013.

“The Optimism Index barely budged in January,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The only good news is that it budged up, not down. If small businesses were publicly traded companies, the stock market would be in shambles. While corporate profits are at record levels as a share of GDP, small businesses are still struggling to turn a profit.

“With the dismal news that our economy actually contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012, it isn’t any wonder that more small firms expect their real sales volumes to fall, few have plans to invest in new inventory, and hardly any owners are expanding or hiring,” he said. “Owner pessimism is certainly not surprising in light of higher taxes, rising health insurance costs, increasing regulations and just plain uncertainty.”

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About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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