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NFIB Index Shows Decline In Small Business Optimism

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 4/13/2010

New index numbers from the NFIB show that small business owners continue to be pessimistic.

A survey released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses this week indicates that small business owners were more pessimistic in March then they were the month before.

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The NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism fell to 86.8 - an eight-month low and a drop from February's score. The index has been below 90 for a total of 18 months.

Such low numbers could be troubling news for small business owners. NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said that the reading is "very low and headed in the wrong direction." He added, "Something isn't sitting well with small business owners. Poor sales and uncertainty continue to overwhelm any other good news about the economy."

Small business owners also indicated few plans for new jobs and a reluctance to commit capital spending, though Dunkelberg said their reasons for being so pessimistic were unclear given recent good news about the economy and growth of the country's gross domestic product.

A number of recent small business surveys have shown conflicting views of the current economic climate. A study released this week by Constant Contact said that 79 percent of small businesses had a confident to neutral outlook, while Discover's Small Business Watch showed that small business owners believed conditions were deteriorating.

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