In September, NFIB Small Business Optimism improved slightly, for the first time in seven months, in line with expectations. Small Business Optimism rose from 88.1 to 88.9, while the consensus was looking for an increase to 88.8. The details show a mixed picture but expected sales (-6% from -12%), expected movements in the economy (-22% from -26%) and plans to increase inventories (-2% from -5%) improved significantly in September and were probably the main drivers for the improvement in the headline index. Plans to hire, increased capital spending and positive earnings trend weakened slightly in September. The outcome is in line with most other business confidence indicators, suggesting that business confidence remains weak, but improved slightly in September after a weak August month.