Small business firms, including manufacturers, were slightly more optimistic about business in July than in June. The National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) small business optimism index edged up last month to 101.1 (1986=100), "a confirmation of solid economic growth," says William Dunkelberg, NFIB's chief economist. The index was 100.8 in both May and June.
However, the 10 elements that make up the index are a mix of positives and negatives. Small businesses plan to add jobs, increase inventories and foresee higher sales and easier credit conditions. But, compared with June, fewer small businesses last month planned to increase capital spending. Fewer said now was a good time to expand, and fewer expected the U.S. economy to improve during the next few months.