Small Business Optimism Falls

April 12, 2012
If the signs from the small business community are accurate, the U.S. economy could be softening. After six months of increases, the Small-Business Optimism Index conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business fell 2 points to 92.5. Nine of ...

If the signs from the small business community are accurate, the U.S. economy could be softening.

After six months of increases, the Small-Business Optimism Index conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business fell 2 points to 92.5. Nine of the 10 components included in the index fell, with owners reporting a net 0% reading for planned job creation and a slight dip to 22% who say they plan to make capital outlays in the next three to six months.

Calling the mood of small business owners "subdued," NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said the March reading is "painfully familiar - this was the same pattern of growth followed by months of decline from 2011. History appears to be repeating itself-and not in a good way."

Rising gas prices were a likely factor in the decline in business confidence in March, said James Marple, TD Economics senior economist. "Fortunately, there appears to be some good news on this front as oil prices have moved down in recent weeks."

Marple called the decline in the percent of businesses planning to hire "disappointing." He noted, "Hiring rates remain well below levels seen before the recession and must increase if the job market is to continue to improve."

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Empowering the Modern Workforce: The Power of Connected Worker Technologies

March 1, 2024
Explore real-world strategies to boost worker safety, collaboration, training, and productivity in manufacturing. Emphasizing Industry 4.0, we'll discuss digitalization and automation...

Transformative Capabilities for XaaS Models in Manufacturing

Feb. 14, 2024
The manufacturing sector is undergoing a pivotal shift toward "servitization," or enhancing product offerings with services and embracing a subscription model. This transition...

Shifting Your Business from Products to Service-Based Business Models: Generating Predictable Revenues

Oct. 27, 2023
Executive summary on a recent IndustryWeek-hosted webinar sponsored by SAP

Building on Resilience

March 24, 2024
Splunk surveyed leaders across the manufacturing industry and 44% of them reported weekly critical outages due to security incidents. And over half of them said that they don’...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!