Small business confidence rises

A new report conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has found that confidence among small business owners has risen to its highest point in three years.

The current optimism level among small firm owners stands at 94.1, up 1.5 points from the prior month to its highest level since the recession began in December 2007.

The average reading before the recession started was 100, according to the NFIB.

"Owners are not optimistic enough about the future to commit to some serious spending and hiring," stated the report, adding that "the economy is crawling forward, there is no exuberance, irrational or otherwise, in the outlook."

The monthly survey found that just 3 percent of firms plan on increasing their hiring in upcoming months.

"They feel like the recovery is coming along, that things are better and that they've weathered the storm," Bill Vernon, director of the federation's Massachusetts office told the Boston Globe. "But they probably want to see a bit more before they start growing."

The report is based on the responses of 2,144 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB's membership, surveyed throughout the month of January. The NFIB's Small Business Economic Trend survey is conducted each month to gauge the plans and opinions of U.S. small business owners.
 

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