I guess Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and I are finally on the same page. One day after I commented that I was starting to get concerned about the slowing economy, the Fed finally halted its two year campaign of raising interest rates. Perhaps the clear and present danger of an economic slowdown is at last taking precedence over the specter of inflation. You can read more about the Fed’s decision here. Now if someone can just get gas prices down, we’ll really be making some progress.
Yesterday’s post begins here:
I have been guardedly optimistic about the economy for most of this year. As much as anything, that has been a victory of my natural optimism over $3 per gallon gas, a war that’s going from bad to worse, and interest rates that keep rising. And for most of this year, the rest of the small business community has shared my guarded optimism. Not wildly enthusiastic about the economy but sure enough to plan for more staff, more office space and greater investments in technology and marketing. Now the economic picure is seeming to be a little bit darker and definitely murkier.
Our Latest SMB Barometer
AllBusiness.com has made a commitment to investing in high quality research about the state of small business and the issues that are on your mind. We summarize the overall level of optimism in our SMB Barometer. It’s our attempt to create a one-number summary of mood of the community of folks who run small and midsized businesses. The indicator is based on a series of questions about your general sense of the business environment and your intention to invest in your business. The data is collected and analyzed by our research partners at Frank Magid and Associates. As you can see from the nearby chart, the trendline is down a bit. That’s not a great shock and it mirrors some work that the National Federation of Independent Business has done as well. We characterize the mood as mildly positive. What do you think? How do you feel about the coming year? Are you investing in your business’s growth? Or, are you starting to hunker down?