NEW YORK — Small business owners are getting a little more optimistic about how their companies will do after the November election, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The National Federation of Independent Business says owners it surveyed last month expect their companies' sales and overall business conditions to pick up after the election and the end of the year.
That brighter outlook helped lift the federation's small business optimism index by 1.7 points in August to 92.9. The group, which lobbies on behalf of small business owners, compiled the index from its survey of 736 of its members.
Many business owners have refrained from hiring or expanding their companies not only because of the economy but also because of uncertainty over the presidential election.
The survey still shows business owners have a generally dim view of the current economy, said William Dunkelberg, the federation's chief economist. “There is too much uncertainty to make major financial commitments,” he said. Dunkelberg called the August index “another solid recession reading.”
Still, “it could be they're starting to see things at street level that we don't see in the (economic) numbers” that come out each month, Dunkelberg said. He noted that car and truck sales have been strong, there have been some signs of recovery in the housing market, and the energy industry in the Midwest is doing well.
“These are thing that are happening that are making some owners more optimistic,” he said.