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SMB Optimism Slips As Owners Look Ahead To Next Six Months

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/12/2009

Small business owners were slightly less optimistic in July, largely due to poor expectations for the nation's economic outlook in the next six months.

Small business optimism slipped slightly in July, largely due to a pessimistic outlook for the economic conditions in the next six months, reported the August Small Business Economic Trends Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business.

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The business optimistic index fell 1.3 points to 86.5, marking the second monthly decline but showing significantly better results than the record low of 81 in March 2009.

Expected economic conditions for the next six months had been improving in recent months, but fell substantially to a negative 3 percent in July - meaning 3 percent fewer small business owners expected better conditions than expected worse conditions - from a net percent of 7 in June.

The good news for small business owners came in the form of capital outlays, as plans to increase capital spending rose to 18 percent, while the number of businesses actually making capital expenditures in the last six months held steady at 46 percent.

Though small business owners may not have significantly improved their outlook just yet, the latest unemployment and GDP numbers released by the government indicate that an economic rebound may be in the near future.

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