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NFIB: Optimism Sees Modest Increase In January

Written by Jenna Weiner
Published: 2/8/2011

The National Federation of Independent Business announced that its Small Business Optimism Increase reached its highest level in the past three years in January.

Good news for small businesses: January saw optimism within this sector open the new year with a modest increase.

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According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses' monthly Small Business Optimism Index, optimism rose by 1.5 points to reach a reading of 94.1. However, while this increase provides some hope, the organization contends that the reading could have reached even higher if it had not been for small business owners' continued skepticism about the future and hesitancy to spend.

Additionally, business owners are continuing to cite weak sales as their top business problem, but, the NFIB reports, price cutting and inventory adjustments to match low consumer spending is appearing to come to an end.

"While recent political rhetoric favors small business, it is belied by the actions of policy makers whose new policies and activities almost exclusively support big businesses. While the economy is moving forward, albeit at a snail's pace, it is not nearly fast enough to dramatically improve the unemployment situation, which continues to languish," said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg.

In December, the index lost 0.6 points, dropping to 92.6. Again, the NFIB cited weak sales as the primary obstacle to overcome.

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