Last month’s fiscal cliff negotiations seem to have taken a toll on the confidence of small business owners, with the National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index edging up only slightly in December.

The NFIB said Tuesday that small business owner optimism crept up 0.5 over November’s historically-low report, the 88 point reading was still the second lowest since March 2010. December’s poor report resulted largely from a deterioration of labor market components, and the surprising percentage of owners who still expect business conditions to worsen in the next six months, the NFIB noted.

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