Small businesses were more optimistic in October as sales expectations grew, according to National Federation of Independent Business.

The group’s Small Business Optimism index increased to 103.8 from 103 in September.

“Consumer sentiment surged based on optimism about jobs and incomes, an encouraging development as consumers account for 70 percent of GDP,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “We expect a pickup in auto spending as people in Texas and Florida continue to replace cars that were damaged in the hurricanes. We expect the same increase in home improvement spending, partly because of the hurricanes, but also because of the skyrocketing price of homes.”

NFIB business optimism index

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Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel

Gary Siegel has been at The Bond Buyer since 1989, currently covering economic indicators and the Federal Reserve system.