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Small Business Confidence Makes a January Jump

Published on Feb 8, 2011


Read our article, 'Small Business Confidence Makes a January Jump' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Confidence among the nation's small firms grew in January to the highest level since before the recession began, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. The Index of Small Business Optimism increased by 1.5 points last month to reach 94.1, which is the highest number since December 2007 - the month many analysts point to as the start of the recession. While most economists were happy with the study's results, NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg was more hesitant to celebrate, saying: "While the economy is moving forward, albeit at a snail's pace, it is not nearly fast enough to dramatically improve the unemployment situation, which continues to languish." But Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, had a different take on the findings' relationship to employment figures. "This is good news, because the weakness of the small firm sector is, in our view, the single biggest reason why employment growth has failed to pick up speed," he told MarketWatch. Shepherdson pointed out the study's three-month growth in small businesses' hiring plans - which continued in January, albeit at a slower pace - as indicative of good news for job-seekers and entrepreneurs forming a company.