The Small Business Optimism Index in April saw its first increase in 2009. Previously, this monthly survey of small-business owners from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) had seen optimism plummeting since December 2008.
While numbers are still far lower than 2004 and 2005, there’s still much to be pleased about in this economy, according to William Dunkelberg, the NFIB's chief economist. “Pent-up demand is building rapidly,” Dunkelberg says. “The reduction in employment is likely overdone, and prices have been cut to unsustainably low levels.”
Dunkelberg says American consumer spending went too far with easy credit, but now money sits in zero or low-interest accounts waiting to be better invested and spent. “In the long run, consumers spend a fairly steady share of their income,” he says.