U.S. December Small Business Optimism Index: Summary

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

The organization’s monthly small business optimism index rose to 88.0 last month, compared to 87.5 in November.

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

=============================================================================
                              Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  Sept.   Aug.   July  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2012   2012   2012   2012   Avg.
=============================================================================
Optimism Index                88.0   87.5   93.1   92.8   92.9   91.2   90.9
 Monthly change               0.6%  -6.0%   0.3%  -0.1%   1.9%  -0.2%  -0.6%
                             ----------Percent of firms reporting:----------
Plan to Hire                    1%     5%     4%     4%    10%     5%     5%
Higher selling prices           0%     0%     5%     6%     9%     8%     5%
Increased capital spending     20%    19%    22%    21%    24%    21%    21%
Plan to increase inventory     -4%    -5%    -1%    -1%    -1%    -1%    -2%
=============================================================================
                              Dec.   Nov.   Oct.  Sept.   Aug.   July  6-mo.
                              2012   2012   2012   2012   2012   2012   Avg.
=============================================================================
Expect better economy         -35%   -35%     2%     2%    -2%    -8%   -13%
Expect higher sales            -2%    -5%     3%     1%     1%    -4%    -1%
Inventory satisfaction          0%    -2%     0%    -1%     0%     0%    -1%
Positions not able to fill     16%    17%    16%    17%    18%    15%    17%
Easing of credit conditions   -11%   -10%    -8%    -7%    -9%    -7%    -9%
Good time to expand             8%     6%     7%     7%     4%     5%     6%
Positive earnings trends      -29%   -32%   -26%   -27%   -28%   -27%   -28%
=============================================================================
NOTE: All figures are seasonally adjusted. The survey size was 648 firms.

SOURCE: National Federation of Independent Business

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