U.S. small business optimism rose in July, with owners anticipating an improvement in sales and earnings, which could bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in the second half of the year.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.6 point to 94.1 last month, recouping most of June’s decline.
It was the fourth highest reading since December 2007, when the economy slipped into recession.
Though the economy is in its fourth year of expansion, the recovery has been patchy, leaving the unemployment rate at an uncomfortably high 7.4 percent.
The economy grew 1.4 percent in the first six months of the year, held back by belt-tightening in Washington. Economists expect the pace of economic growth to quicken in the second half as the tight fiscal policy burden eases.