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Optimistic Livingston Survey Provides Good News For Small Businesses

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/10/2011

Small business could drive positive trends in employment and GDP predicted by Livingston Survey.

While the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released earlier this week reported some glum news, including the continued fall in house prices, it did note the employment picture seems to be brightening at least a little. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s Livingston Survey, released June 9, also predicts slow but steady gains in both employment and GDP.

Optimistic Outlook for Small Businesses

Based on responses from 35 businesses, the survey projects an unemployment rate falling through the second half of this year, to around 8.6 percent by December.

The growth rate of real GDP is projected to rise from below 3 percent to 3.2 percent by the end of 2011.

The MerchantCircle Merchant Confidence Index, released the same day as the Livingston Survey, suggests that small businesses might be significant drivers of these positive trends. Of the nearly 5,000 small business owners polled for the index, 90 percent said they plan to hire or maintain current employee rosters.

Also on June 9, Bloomberg News reported the formation of business development corporations, which make substantial small business loans, is at its highest level on Wall Street since 2004. 

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