Optimism among small-business owners declined last month as fewer companies said that they expected sales to rise, according to the National Federation of Independent Business' index of business optimism.

The index fell about a point in February, to 98.2, the small business advocacy group said.

Seventeen percent of small-business owners said that they expected higher sales, down from 22 percent from January, while those planning to add workers fell 4 percent, to 13 percent. The group said that the results, which also showed less than one-third of the firms surveyed planning to increase capital spending, are consistent with the slowing economy.

Three of the 10 index components in the survey rose last month. Of the small businesses surveyed by the group, 18 percent said that it was a good time to expand, 13 percent reported higher selling prices and 3 percent said that they planned to increase their inventory -- that trio of components were all up 1 percentage point from January.

The survey was based on 725 respondents. The federation has about 600,000 member firms, and 80 percent of those firms have less than 40 employees.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access