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More Business Owners Plan Capital Expenditures

November 12, 2014, 07:02 AM
Filed Under: Economic Commentary

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index crept back to its August level of 96.1 with a gain of 0.8 points led by a modest increase in the net percent of owners who plan to increase capital spending and more who expect higher sales in the next 3 months.

“Those were the two bright spots in an otherwise mixed reading,” said Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). 

According to the survey, for example, owners are slightly less optimistic about business conditions over the next six months as well as the outlook for expansion.  November’s survey, which will reflect the election outcome, should provide some insight on whether different leadership in Congress has had any effect on small business optimism since 28 percent of owners blame Washington politics for the country’s economic problems.

“They’re making capital investments and trying to fill positions despite that they cannot anticipate a better economy,” said Dunkelberg.  “Basically they’re preparing to taxi the runway but they don’t expect to take off anytime soon.”

Interestingly, a record low percentage of small business owners reported problems getting access to capital and an unusually high number of owners say they have no interest in borrowing.

“The political class and a fair number of economists have assumed for years that small business is starved for credit,” said Dunkelberg.  “That appears to be an egregious misdiagnosis.  Local business owners, for the most part, can borrow all they need but mainly, they’re not interested now in taking on debt because they’re not confident in the future.”

To read the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index report, click here.

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