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Office Depot Small Biz Index: Confidence rising

The October Office Depot Small Business Index, a monthly survey commissioned to gauge the economic trends of small businesses in America, indicates that attitudes toward the economy have improved over the past month among both small- and medium-sized businesses.

Specifically, findings in the latest Office Depot Small Business Index indicate that small business confidence has significantly increased in terms of their overall economic forecast for the next six months, with more businesses anticipating higher company sales, profits and capital spending, while more respondents believe it will be easier to obtain a bank loan as well.

Along these lines, significantly more small businesses expect that their firms will be hiring new employees in the next six months (October 26% vs. September 19%). And, more respondents across both small- and medium-sized firms (1-5 employees up to 20-99 employees) indicate that they will be adding new employees in the near future compared to findings seen only one month ago. Moreover, when asked why they’ll be hiring, more respondents said their “business is improving” (October 65% vs. September 48%) and that they feel that there is greater “economic certainty/stability” (October 24% vs. September 19%).

Despite a more positive outlook on the economy as a whole, the vast majority of small businesses surveyed indicate that the current economic environment will have an impact on their holiday gift planning — for both their clients and staff. Accordingly, fewer than two-fifths of the respondents plan on buying/sending gifts to their clients this year (38%), with just over half indicating that they will take care of their staff this holiday season (51%).


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