U.S. small business confidence in
September dropped as expectations for the future remained low, a
leading industry association reported Tuesday.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said its Small-Business Optimism Index decreased to 92.8 in September from August's 92.9. The recession-level reading was pulled down by a deterioration in labor market indicators, said the association.
Four of the index's 10 components contributed to the September loss. Specifically, the index gauging plans to increase employment decreased six points to a net 4 percent but the share of owners expecting economy to improve edged up four point to a net 2 percent.
"Small-business owners are reporting that the political climate is a reason not to expand," said NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg.
The U.S. presidential election is just weeks away and its outcomes would have vastly divergent policy implications, he added.
The Index fluctuated between 86.5 and 94.5 since the recession ended in June 2009. During the recent economic recovery, the index has averaged 90, making it the worst recovery period from a recession in the NFIB survey history that began in 1973.
The small business industry, accounting for 99 percent of the overall companies, is the major drive of the U.S. economy and holds half of the country's labor force.
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