Bloomberg News

U.S. February Small Business Optimism Index: Summary

March 13, 2012

U.S. small business optimism increased in February, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The organization’s monthly small business optimism index rose to 94.3 last month, compared to 93.9 in January.

Following is a table compiled from the February small business optimism index.

=============================================================================
                              Feb.   Jan.   Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  Sept.  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2011   2011   2011   2011   Avg.
=============================================================================
Optimism Index                94.3   93.9   93.8   92.0   90.2   88.9   92.2
 Monthly change               0.4%   0.1%   2.0%   2.0%   1.5%   0.9%   1.1%
                             ----------Percent of firms reporting:----------
Plan to Hire                    4%     5%     6%     7%     3%     4%     5%
Higher selling prices           1%    -1%     0%     0%    -1%     6%     1%
Increased capital spending     23%    24%    24%    24%    21%    20%    23%
Plan to increase inventory      2%    -3%     2%     0%     0%    -2%     0%
=============================================================================
                              Feb.   Jan.   Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  Sept.  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2011   2011   2011   2011   Avg.
=============================================================================
Expect better economy          -6%    -3%    -8%   -12%   -16%   -22%   -11%
Expect higher sales            12%    10%     9%     4%    -4%    -6%     4%
Inventory satisfaction          2%     1%     0%    -1%     0%    -1%     0%
Positions not able to fill     17%    18%    15%    16%    14%    14%    16%
Easing of credit conditions   -10%    -9%    -9%   -10%   -11%   -12%   -10%
Good time to expand             8%     9%    10%     8%     7%     6%     8%
Positive earnings trends      -19%   -24%   -22%   -28%   -26%   -27%   -24%
=============================================================================
NOTE: All figures are seasonally adjusted. The survey size was 624 firms.

SOURCE: National Federation of Independent Business

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristy Scheuble in Washington at kmckeaney@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Marco Babic at mbabic@bloomberg.net


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