Survey rates business owners’ optimism

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Chris Woodward (

Optimism among small business owners remained relatively unchanged last month, but that's been the case for much of this year.

The latest monthly survey from the National Federation of Independent Business shows that owner optimism rose 0.3 percent in October, up to 93.1 percent.

Holly Wade, senior policy analyst for NFIB, tells OneNewsNow that not much has changed as far as optimism ratings, but that the circumstances surrounding the recent presidential election could change that.


"We didn't see much change from September," she says. "The index increased, but basically over the last year, we've kind of remained in a narrow range between 90 and 94.5 percent. Uncertainty and weak sales have played a major role in that."

While uncertainty over healthcare regulations has been an issue, Wade says small businesses are waiting on the sidelines to see what will happen with spending and other negotiations involving the fiscal cliff.

President Barack Obama met with labor leaders Tuesday, followed by talks with business executives on Wednesday. Bipartisan talks with congressional leaders are scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, Wade says the November survey could provide an even better reading on optimism.

"We mail a sample of our membership at the beginning of each month. The cutoff is the end of the month," she explains. "In the November results, we'll be able to see what their sentiment was like before the elections and then also after the elections to see what changed, if anything."

NFIB will also be able to see how the Hurricane Sandy-affected areas of the eastern seaboard compare to the rest of the country.

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