US small busi­ness con­fi­dence bounces back in July

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

U.S. small busi­ness con­fi­dence re­bounded in July from a 15-month low as own­ers an­tic­i­pated solid sales and in­ven­tory growth, pro­vid­ing another boost to the eco­nomic out­look for the third quar­ter.

The Na­tional Fed­er­a­tion of In­de­pen­dent Busi­ness said on Tues­day its Small Busi­ness Op­ti­mism In­dex in­creased 1.3 points to 95.4. About 1,495 busi­nesses took part in the sur­vey. Last month s in­crease par­tially re­couped June s plunge, which had pushed the in­dex to its low­est level since March 2014. Data on au­to­mo­bile sales, em­ploy­ment and the ser­vices sec­tor have sug­gested a steady build-up of eco­nomic mo­men­tum at the start of the third quar­ter af­ter gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ex­panded at a 2.3 per­cent an­nual rate in the sec­ond quar­ter. Seven of the in­dex s 10 com­po­nents in­creased last month, while three con­tin­ued to de­cline.

Own­ers were up­beat about busi­ness con­di­tions over the next six months, and their ex­pec­ta­tions about sales im­proved af­ter weak­en­ing for sev­eral months. They were op­ti­mistic about in­vest­ing in cap­i­tal and in­ven­to­ries. There was an in­crease in the num­ber of small busi­ness own­ers who said that now was a good time to ex­pand.

The sur­vey s la­bor mar­ket gauges im­proved af­ter weak­en­ing a bit in June. Fifty-seven per­cent re­ported hir­ing or try­ing to re­cruit work­ers in July, up five per­cent­age points from June.

Twenty-five per­cent of all own­ers re­ported job open­ings they could not fill, up one point from June, but four points be­low the high­est read­ing for 2015. About 23 per­cent of own­ers re­ported rais­ing worker com­pen­sa­tion, up two points from June. The sur­vey pointed to tame in­fla­tion pres­sures in the near term. Thir­teen per­cent of small busi­ness own­ers re­ported re­duc­ing their av­er­age selling prices in the past three months, down one point from June.

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