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Small business sentiment rises for the first time in months

Small business sentiment rose in August for the first time in four months as more owners anticipated better business conditions after the November 6 elections and increased sales.

The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its optimism index rose 1.7 points to 92.9 last month.

While owners expected an improvement in business conditions over the next six months, they still did not believe that this was a good time to expand operations.

"But looking past the election and year end, owners became a bit more optimistic about improvements in real sales volumes and business conditions," the NFIB said in a statement.

There were gains in spending and hiring measures last month, with job creation plans doubling. The number of owners reporting job openings were hard to fill increased modestly.

Plans for capital outlays rose, but businesses continued to keep their inventories lean. The share of owners anticipating a rise in inflation-adjusted sales rose last month, snapping a five-month decline.