U.S. small business confidence rebounded in July from a 15-month low as owners anticipated solid sales and inventory growth, providing another boost to the economic outlook for the third quarter.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.3 points to 95.4. About 1,495 businesses took part in the survey. Last month's increase partially recouped June's plunge, which had pushed the index to its lowest level since March 2014.
Data on automobile sales, employment and the services sector have suggested a steady build-up of economic momentum at the start of the third quarter after gross domestic product expanded at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the second quarter.
Seven of the index's 10 components increased last month, while three continued to decline.
Owners were upbeat about business conditions over the next six months, and their expectations about sales improved after weakening for several months. They were optimistic about investing in capital and inventories.