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Small-business optimism fell in June, survey says

July 09, 2013|By Adolfo Flores
  • Richard Pola, chief executive of RP Associates Inc., left, and Lynda Darna, controller at RP Associates, at their office in Hermosa Beach.
Richard Pola, chief executive of RP Associates Inc., left, and Lynda Darna,… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

Small-business optimism fell in June, a turnaround from a slight increase in May, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business.

The group's economic index fell to 93.5, from 94.4 in May, which was its second-highest reading since the recession started. Job-creation plans increased slightly in June, the group reported, but expectations for improved business conditions remained negative.

“The economy remains ‘bifurcated,’ with the big firms producing most of the GDP growth with little help from small business,” Bill Dunkelberg, the group's chief economist, said in a statement. “That balance is shifting, but unfortunately because larger firms are losing ground, not because small business is growing faster."

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Plans to increase inventory dropped four points, making it the main contributor to the index's decline. Also, expectations for higher sales fell three points from May.

Intentions to increase employment rose two points, and business owners expecting the economy to improve rose one point from May.

About 11% of small-business owners said they added an average of 3.6 workers in the past few months, the group said. However, that figure was offset by 12% reporting a reduction of 4.3 workers on average.

Job-creation plans rose two points to 7% saying they looked to increase total employment.

“Overall, the labor indicators held up pretty well,” the report said, but “suggesting no improvement of any consequence.”

About 660 small-business owners responded to the group's survey.

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adolfo.flores@latimes.com

Follow Adolfo Flores on Twitter.

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