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Small Business Optimism Up in Alabama, Nation

The National Federation of Independent Business reported this week that its monthly gauge of small business optimism rose by 1.4 points on the strength of bigger profits. Still, the group described the increased rate as “normal” and economic growth as “subpar.”

“It appears that the small business sector has finally attained a normal level of activity, which will hopefully keep the economy moving forward, even at a subpar pace,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said. “That being said, improved profit trends accounted for over half the Index gain, a rather unusual but welcomed development. This was supported by positive sales trends and continued, although rising, fuel prices.”

State-specific data isn’t available, but NFIB/Alabama State Director Rosemary Elebash said small-business owners here share the sense of cautious optimism.

“The economy hasn’t recovered as quickly as everyone had hoped, but there’s a sense that things are finally starting to look up,” Elebash said.

May’s small business optimism is the best reading since the December 100.4 high. At 98.3, it is in line with the historical average of 98, but still a few points below the prerecession average.

June 12, 2015

Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser

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