Confidence in economy wavers

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, March 10, 2016

Confidence in the economy from small business owners continues to drop.

According to a new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, small business optimism fell to its lowest level in two years in February. The Index of Small Business Optimism dropped another point last month and stands at 92.9, well below the 42-year average of 98.

Ron Aldridge, the state director of the NFIB/Mississippi, said the national trend is reflective in the state.

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“I think the survey shows that a lot of small-business owners are afraid we’re on the wrong track,” Aldridge said. “People aren’t going to invest in new equipment or jobs unless they see those investments paying off.”

William C. Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, said, “A ho-hum outcome this month confirms that the small business sector is not performing with any strength.

“Small business owners are still waiting for a good reason to invest in the future,” Dunkelberg said.

Dunkelberg is blaming the current administration.

“Political uncertainty remains a major concern, and the president does not seem inclined to address the major concerns of small business owners,” Dunkelberg said.  “Every month, the Fed dithers on interest rate policy, giving the impression that the economy is weak.”

Current federal policies must change or this economic uncertainty will continue to hinder spending and hiring among small business and prevent the economy from moving forward at a faster pace.