While headline events such as the upcoming presidential race and China's slowing economy might not have an immediate impact on Main Street's profitability or economic prospects, such macro trends are important to smaller employers as they're creating a tangible overhang among business owners who feel "somewhat positive" about the future, according to new data.
Sentiment among small business owners has stabilized in the past two months, after a steady decline from the March high, according to San Francisco-based Thumbtack, an online platform for local businesses. The October reading was 63.75 on a 100-point scale.
The results — which captures the economic sentiment of more than 15,000 small businesses nationwide — mirror data from the National Federation of Independent Business's Small Business Optimism Index, which continues to hover under the 42-year average of 98 points.
More entrepreneurs began worrying about macro themes and its potential influence on the overall business climate, said Jon Lieber, Thumbtack's chief economist. Worries cited by business owners in a free form question format included China's currency crisis in August, the potential for rising interest rates and the future political climate as the 2016 presidential race nears. "There's a general decline in expectations about the future," he said.