Freight Factoring News: Discover Small-Business Index Up.

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Discover Small-Business Index Up

Source: Discover Small Business Watch - February 2008

The Discover Small Business Watch is a monthly index of the economic confidence of the nation's 22 million businesses with five or fewer employees.

    Discover Financial Services reported its first increase in six months in small-business owners' confidence in the economy.

    The Riverwoods, Ill., company said Monday that its Small Business Watch index climbed 4.6 points this month from last month, to 90.9, and that many respondents expect the government's efforts to boost the economy to help their business.

    The index, which was pegged at 100 at its inception in August 2006, had been sliding since hitting 107.3 in July.

    The percentage of respondents who said the economy is getting worse fell 7 points from January, to 67%. The percentage who said they expect business conditions to improve over the next six months rose 3 points, to 34%, and the percentage who plan to spend more to expand their companies rose 5 points, to 33%.

    The survey of 1,000 small-business owners found that respondents expect more benefit from lower interest rates than from the stimulus package the government hopes will spur consumer spending. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said the package would have no significant impact on their businesses, 12% said it would affect their businesses, and 29% said they were not certain.

    "Small-business owners are seeing some of the larger efforts being made to improve the economy, such as the Fed interest rate cuts and slowing down of downward momentum, so they appear to be less apprehensive," Sastry Rachakonda, Discover's director of business credit cards, said in a press release.

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