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Small-business optimism grows for fourth straight month in December

By Rick Seltzer


Small-business owners displayed increasing optimism for the fourth straight month in December, raising sales expectations and lowering concerns over future business conditions.

Those are the results of the monthly Small Business Optimism Index measured by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The index inched up 1.8 points to 93.8 in December.

The seasonally adjusted net percentage of business owners expecting higher sales during the next three months increased five points to 9 percent. And the seasonally adjusted net percentage of business owners anticipating better general business conditions in six months climbed four points to negative 8 percent.

December’s optimism index increase was not enough to move the index out of “recession territory,” NFIB said in a news release. The index of 93.8 is 6 points below its pre-recession average, according to the organization.

“It’s a good thing that we see some positive optimism within the business community,” says NFIB New York State Director Mike Durant. “But they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, too, because they’ve done this dance before.”

NFIB randomly surveyed 725 of its members in December to calculate the optimism index.


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