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In the News This Week

Small business optimism was flat in October, as the NFIB optimism index held at 96.1. The report noted that “the October NFIB survey gave no indication of a resurgence in growth in the small business sector with the Index remaining below the 42 year average of 98. The labor market components might have held at historically strong levels but this time owners reported no net growth in employment, which is a significant drop from reports in the previous four months”.

On a positive note, job openings rose in September to 5.53 million – the second-highest level on record. At the same time, however, the quits rate held at 1.9% for the sixth consecutive month.

Consumer sentiment rose in November for the second month in a row, with the University of Michigan index rising to a reading of 93.1.

On the downside, retail sales were weak for the third month in a row, only rising .1% in October as consumers spent less on gas, vehicles and groceries, though spending at restaurants increased.

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