Optimism amongst small U.S. businesses rose to its highest level in more than four years in February, data released Tuesday showed, yet business owners remain concerned about future prospects.
The National Federation of Independent Business‘s small-business optimism index rose 0.4 point to 94.3 from 93.9 in January. The February figure was its sixth consecutive monthly increase and its strongest level since December 2007.
The economy grew slightly faster than initially thought in the fourth quarter and a gauge of factory activity in the Midwest hit a 10 month-high in February, pointing to underlying strength in the economy.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 3 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the second quarter of 2010, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday in its second estimate.
The reading, which was up from the 2.8 percent pace the government reported last month and reflected modest upward revisions to almost all components of GDP, added to the recent run of fairly upbeat economic reports.
The tone of the GDP report was further bolstered by upward revisions to income and savings data, which should help support consumer spending in the face of rising gasoline prices.