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Survey: Small biz economic optimism increases

Small business economic confidence rebounded in October as more small business owners report economic conditions for their businesses and for the country are getting better, according to the Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index rose to 84.2 in October, up 10.4 points from 73.8 in September—the biggest one month gain since April.

“The fall season has ushered in more positive views of the economy, but in this politically charged atmosphere, small business owners are likely in a holding pattern with the rest of us to see how the economy responds after Election Day,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business card.

This month, 28% of small business owners expect economic conditions for their businesses to get better in the next six months, up from 20% last month; 43% think conditions will worsen, down from 55%, 24% expect them to stay the same.

Perceptions of the overall economy’s direction also are improving. In October, 31% of small business owners say the economy is getting better, up from 26% in September; while 48% say it’s getting worse, and 17% think it’s the same.

Other October Confidence Indicators:

  • The outlook for spending on business development is improving: 22% of small business owners plan to increase spending, up from 16% last month; 46% plan to decrease spending, down from 57% in September; and 30% expect no changes for the next six months.
  • 46% of small business owners report having cash flow issues, unchanged from last month; while 50% said they do not have cash flow issues.
  • 61% of small business owners rate the economy as poor, down from 68% last month; 31% rate it fair, 5% rate it good, and 2% rate it excellent.

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