Yesterday was another good day for the economy with the Federal Reserve announcing that it intends to keep rates low until 2014. The stock market responded by gaining 83 points. CNNMoney.com reported, “Keeping it at historic lows as the Fed has done since 2008, is meant to stimulate spending by lowering interest rates on everything from mortgages to car and student loans.”
In addition to today’s news from the Fed, 2012 has begun with a flourish of economic stories reporting that the economy is picking up. Business Week is reporting that “Manufacturing in the U.S. grew in December at the fastest pace in six months.” A further sign of the economy’s growing momentum came from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) that reported its factory index rose to 53.9 in December up froom 52.7 in November again beating expectations of economists. Any reading over 50 indicates expansion.
This week Suzanne Sataline reported for American Express Open Forum that most small businesses surveyed by the Manta SMB Wellness Index, a quarterly index of the state of small businesses, responded that 2011 was a successful year for their businesses. Among the findings of the survey that Sataline reported:
Small business owners tend to be optimists. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed said the small business economy would improve this year. These folks are a determined lot: 62 percent ranked growing their business as their top New Year’s resolution–ahead of improving relationships with their family, working out more and eating healthier.
According to Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta:
Small businesses are the lifeblood of the national economy, and while things have been difficult in 2011, we see every day that small business owners are committed and hard-working and don’t take no for an answer. In fact, our survey shows that 90 percent of small business owners are optimistic about their company’s growth in 2012.
Question is, what gains are you seeing in your business?