Mood brightens for consumers, small biz


Two new surveys show that two groups which could be key in driving an economic recovery are more optimistic about that happening. Both consumer and small business sentiments are taking a more positive tone.

The consumer poll came from Reuters and the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers. It found sentiment for the end of September to be at 73.5, a significant improvement from the 65.7 rating posted at the end of August. Consumer expectations also registered at 73.5, an even better jump from August when it came home at 65.0. Current conditions warranted a similar 73.5, up from 66.6, and the 12-month outlook surged to 88, from 69 in August.

Meanwhile, Chase Card Services found that while only 5% of small business chiefs are looking to aggressively expand, 75% predict that their companies will be performing better within three to six months. 49% are hiring, compared to only 5% that are still trimming payroll.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’ll get out the salt-shaker for the high spirits among small businesses – the respondents were all on a list of fastest-growing companies. But we like good news, and we hope these companies, and the consumers who patronize them, are on to something.