Confidence at U.S. Small Companies Climbs to One-Year High
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Last month’s improvement came even as small-company leaders were less optimistic about the economy as a whole. The gauge of expectations for better business conditions six months from now fell three points to net minus 6 percent, and an index of whether firms think this is a good time to expand fell one point to net 8 percent, today’s report showed.
Measures on hiring and investment were also less promising. The small-business gauge of plans to add to payrolls dropped one point to net 4 percent, and those intending to make capital purchases over the next three to six months fell a point, the first decline in five months, to net 23 percent.
The NFIB report was based on 819 survey responses through February 29. Small businesses represent more than 99 percent of all U.S. employers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. A small business is defined as an independent enterprise employing as many as 500 people.