Small businesses are seeing recovery but remain wary about the future and continue to delay hiring. Consumer confidence remains low, which doesn't bode well for lifestyle industries and many small businesses. "This time, the consumer is not leading the way out," said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB's chief economist. He notes that much of the stimulus money has gone to big construction projects, many of which haven't started, so money hasn't flowed through to smaller manufacturing firms.

Related Summaries