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Small-business owners survey shows weak hiring plans, but optimism on economy

A national survey of small-business owners was little changed in September as weak hiring plans were balanced by respondents who believe this is a good time to expand a business, the National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday.
BY DON MECOY Published: October 10, 2012

One reason the federation's survey showed that more owners expect business to improve: The presidential election will be decided and Congress is likely to have taken action on tax bills. That would remove some of the uncertainty that has contributed to owners' pessimism the past few months.

“Small-business owners are telling us they're more concerned about the election than they are the economy right now,” Shouse said. “They don't want to spend any money unless it's absolutely necessary. They aren't hiring, expanding or ordering more inventories until the future becomes more certain.”

NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg said those concerns are echoed in the national survey.

“The election is just weeks away and essentially a horse-race, and its outcomes would have vastly divergent policy implications,” he said.

The federation questioned nearly 700 of its members as part of its survey.


The Associated Press