“Confidence among U.S. small businesses cooled in September as fewer companies said they planned to hire or invest in new equipment, a survey found.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s optimism index fell to 92.8 from an August reading of 92.9. Four of the 10 components that make up the gauge decreased, the Washington- based group said.
The fourth decline in the past five months for the measure showed business leaders may be putting off some of their hiring and investment decisions because of a lack of clarity on tax and regulatory policy. At the same time, more companies expected better economic conditions in six months, signaling a pickup in sales and employment may take time to develop.
Small-business “owners are in maintenance mode; spending only where necessary and not hiring,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Owners are unwilling to put their own capital on the line until the future path of the economy and economic policy becomes clear.”Twitter