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. optimism_index

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.

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