Small businesses are more optimistic. Actually, the National Federation of Independent Business is not all that happy, but it's an improvement:
Optimism rose again in October to 91.7...This is still a recession level reading based on Index values since 1973. However, job creation plans did turn positive and job reductions ceased.Here's a picture of their overall index. Still depressed:
The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales over the past three months improved four points to a net negative 13 percent, 20 points better than May 2009 (the recession bottom). The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales gained four points from September, rising to a net one percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted).Still, when asked for their most pressing problem, small business owners point to sales:
And now for the consumer side. Per Bloomberg:
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary sentiment index rose to 69.3, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and the highest level since June, from 67.7 in October. The measure averaged 88.9 in the five years to December 2007, when the last recession began.Here's a graph, but it does not include the latest uptick:
I also get weekly reports on retail sales. Johnson Redbook says sales in the first week of November were up 2.6 percent. The rate of increase has not been going up, growth actually looks pretty good compared to recent memory.