Small businesses kept cool ahead of shutdown

Large portions of the federal government shut down at the end of September, and have yet to reopen. At the same time, Washington also has to deal with a looming debt limit deadline.

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Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, called the dip in the index “little more than ‘statistical noise,’” but also warned that small business owners could grow more worried any moment now.

“Prospects for politicians and policymakers ‘getting it right’ are low, and job creators are rolling their eyes and shaking their heads thinking, ‘This is certainly not the way to run the largest enterprise in the world,’” Dunkelberg said in a statement.

In fact, the NFIB warned that its October reading would give a fuller take on what smaller companies are thinking about the impasse in Washington.

Small business owners did become more pessimistic about future business conditions last month, but also were expecting higher sales.