Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Small business sentiment declines again; election results blamed

NFIB small business sentiment fell to another 2-year low in November.

Some have argued that the index (which Tom Keene of Bloomberg Surveillance calls the "Pessimism Index") is not grounded in reality, representing small businesses complaining about this or that. The data however reveals that in 2012, small businesses are indeed struggling. The chart below shows a sharp decline in earnings recently.

According to NFIB, the drop in sentiment in November was also driven (in fact to a great extent) by the results of the last elections. Add to that the unease about healthcare costs as well as the uncertainty over taxes - and we are looking at a period of stagnant growth, low investment, and anemic hiring among America's small businesses.

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