WASHINGTON Aug 12 U.S. small business sentiment
rose in July, in a boost to the economic outlook at the start of
the third quarter.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on
Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index increased by 0.7 point
to 95.7 last month.
The NFIB index is a leading indicator for the economy and
last month's rise followed a decline in June. The survey added
to employment, manufacturing and services sector data in
suggesting momentum in the economy early in the third quarter.
The economy grew at a 4.0 percent annual pace in the second
Six of the index's 10 components increased, with a big gain
in the share of firms saying it was a good time to expand. There
were modest increases in the number of firms increasing
inventories, making capital investments and creating new jobs.
Businesses also expect easier credit conditions in the
future. There were, however, declines in the share of firms
saying job openings were hard to fill and those expecting higher
(Reporting by Moriah Costa; Editing by Paul Simao)