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U.S. March Small Business Optimism Index: Summary

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

The organization’s monthly small business optimism index fell to 92.5 last month, compared to 94.3 in February.

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

=============================================================================
                             March   Feb.   Jan.   Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2012   2011   2011   2011   Avg.
=============================================================================
Optimism Index                92.5   94.3   93.9   93.8   92.0   90.2   92.8
 Monthly change              -1.9%   0.4%   0.1%   2.0%   2.0%   1.5%   0.7%
                             ----------Percent of firms reporting:----------
Plan to Hire                    0%     4%     5%     6%     7%     3%     4%
Higher selling prices           6%     1%    -1%     0%     0%    -1%     1%
Increased capital spending     22%    23%    24%    24%    24%    21%    23%
Plan to increase inventory      0%     2%    -3%     2%     0%     0%     0%
=============================================================================
                             March   Feb.   Jan.   Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2012   2011   2011   2011   Avg.
=============================================================================
Expect better economy          -8%    -6%    -3%    -8%   -12%   -16%    -9%
Expect higher sales             8%    12%    10%     9%     4%    -4%     7%
Inventory satisfaction          3%     2%     1%     0%    -1%     0%     1%
Positions not able to fill     15%    17%    18%    15%    16%    14%    16%
Easing of credit conditions   -11%   -10%    -9%    -9%   -10%   -11%   -10%
Good time to expand             7%     8%     9%    10%     8%     7%     8%
Positive earnings trends      -23%   -19%   -24%   -22%   -28%   -26%   -24%
=============================================================================
NOTE: All figures are seasonally adjusted. The survey size was 757 firms.

SOURCE: National Federation of Independent Business

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