The Small Business Optimism Index rose an ever-so-slightly 0.1 points in January, marking the the fifth increase in a row.
“The good news is, it’s not going down,” William Dunkelberg, chief economist of the National Federation of Independent Business, told CNBC.com. "But there's still a lot of bad news out there." The NFIB surveyed 2,155 small business owners about how they for the monthly survey.
Dunkelberg pointed to a lack of consumer spending as reason for wariness among small business owners. “Consumers are still pessimistic. The average age of cars is the highest it’s ever been; people don’t buy things unless they need them.”
And if consumers aren’t spending, neither are business owners. “They will only spend if the roof is leaking and the machines have stopped working,” he said.