Small business economic conditions continue
improvement in third quarter
GDP growth of 3.7 percent marks 12th consecutive
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[NOV. 23, 2004]
WASHINGTON -- Economic
conditions for small business continued to improve in the third
quarter of 2004, according to the recently released "Quarterly
Indicators: The Economy and Small Business." The report, issued by
the Office of Advocacy, shows real gross domestic product up 3.7
percent, the 12th consecutive quarterly increase.
"The economic conditions faced by small
business are getting better and better," said Dr. Chad Moutray,
chief economist for the Office of Advocacy. "More than 300,000 new
jobs were created in the third quarter. Since most new jobs are
created by small business, this signals continued growth for small
firms in the months to come."
This third in a new series of
quarterly reports uses a variety of sources to track current
economic conditions for small business. A number of indicators are
showing signs of positive change. Between the third quarters of 2003
and 2004, industrial production, real gross private fixed investment
and real exports all increased substantially. Growth in each
indicator was up from the growth over the same period in 2002-2003.
Over the first three quarters of the year, the net percentage of
small-business owners planning to expand employment was at its
highest annual level since 2000, at 14.7 percent -- meaning that
14.7 percent more owners plan to hire than plan to cut back on
employment. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent in September,
its lowest level since October 2001.
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The Office of Advocacy, the "small-business watchdog" of the
federal government, examines the role and status of small business
in the economy and independently represents the views of small
business to federal agencies, Congress and the president. It is the
source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly
formats, and it funds research into issues related to small
Created by Congress in 1976, the Office of Advocacy of the U.S.
Small Business Administration is an independent voice within the
federal government. Appointed by the president and confirmed by the
U.S. Senate, the chief counsel for advocacy directs the office. The
chief counsel advances the views, concerns and interests of small
business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal
courts and state policy-makers. Economic research, policy analyses
and small business outreach help identify issues of concern.
Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the
chief counsel's efforts.
For more information on the Office of Advocacy, visit
www.sba.gov/advo or call (202)
[John McDowell, press secretary,
Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small