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Economic Report: Small-business sentiment retreats from 45-year high, NFIB says

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Bakery shop owners

The numbers: The National Federation of Independent Business small-business optimism index fell 0.9 point in September to a seasonally adjusted level of 108.8.

What happened: In September, six index components declined, three gained, and one was unchanged. Job creation, capital spending, and actual sales all rose in September.

“This is the longest streak of small business optimism in history, evidence that tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks are paying off for the economy as a whole,” NFIB President Juanita Duggan said in a statement. “Our members say that business is booming and prospects continue to look bright.”

Index component Seasonally adjusted level Monthly change
Plans to increase employment 23% -3
Plans to make capital outlays 30% -3
Plans to increase inventories 3% -7
Expect economy to improve 33% -1
Expect real sales higher 29% 3
Current inventory -1% 2
Current job openings 38% 0
Expected credit conditions -5% 1
Now a good time to expand 33% -1
Earnings trends -1% -2

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