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NFIB: Credit conditions not to blame for slow small business recovery

Feb 18, 2012 Philip Burgess

Small business owners remain somewhat confident in the U.S. credit market, reflecting recent improvements in consumer activity, employment and lending trends, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB's Small Business Optimism Index climbed 0.1 points to reach 93.9 - the highest reading in more than four years. In regards to credit, only four percent of surveyed business owners reported financing as their No. 1 concern. Furthermore, 9 percent claimed not all of their credit needs were being met, likely due to tightened credit decisions by banks. Of course, the NFIB has long maintained that poor sales, not access to credit, have been holding back growth in the sector. Many other economists, such as Gallup chief economist Dennis Jacobe have been pushing Congress to improve the lending environment for small companies, which employ roughly half of the private sector workforce. "Congress has failed to pass a budget for over 1,000 days, and without discipline on spending or any budgetary priorities, there is no path to fiscal sanity in Washington," warned NFIB chief economists Bill Dunkelberg. "U.S. debt is now larger than our GDP, and headed in the wrong direction."