Entrepreneurs' Confidence Dips

The question now: Will the pessimism translate into less spending?

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They're still hiring, and they're still spending, but small-business owners are more wary of changes in the economy than they have been in years. The Index of Small Business Optimism, derived from a monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, fell 2.9 points, to a seven-year low of 96.7, in December.

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