Optimism among small business owners is on the decline, which according to a survey released today by the National Federation of Independent Business, is largely a result of uncertainty over who will be the nation's next president come November.
NFIB's Small Business Optimism Index dropped by 0.1 points from last month, finishing September at 92.8.
The survey shows small business hiring plans experienced a 6 point decrease, a 1 point drop in job openings and an overall decline in employment among the business owners surveyed.
On a positive note, the September index did show a 2 point increase in payrolls, and a 4 point increase in expectations that the economy will eventually improve.
In a prepared statement, NFIB chief economist William Dunkelberg says:
The election is just weeks away and essentially a horse-race, and its outcomes would have vastly divergent policy implications. Everyone is waiting to see what happens, especially small-business owners who have a lot at stake in the outcome — which could mean higher marginal tax rates and more deficits, OR lower marginal tax rates and less government. Small-business owners are reporting that the political climate is a reason not to expand — second only to the economy, which is only keeping up with population growth. And so, in the meantime, owners are in maintenance mode; spending only where necessary and not hiring, expanding or ordering more inventories until the future becomes more 'certain.'
Read the full NFIB report here.