The US NFIB small business optimism indicator improved in October for a second straight month. The headline index rose from 88.9 to 90.2, marginally above the consensus estimate (90.0) and the highest level in four months. The breakdown shows an improvement in increased capital spending (21% from 20%), plans to increase inventory (0% from -2%), expect better economy (-16% from -22%), expect higher sales (-4% from -6%), inventory satisfaction (0% from -1%), easing of credit conditions (-11% from -12%), good time to expand (7% from 6%) and positive earnings trend (-26% from -27%). Sentiment about plans to hire (3% from 4%) and higher selling prices (-1% from 6%) weakened slightly compared with the previous month, while positions not able to fill stayed unchanged at 14%. Sentiment among US small companies improved from a second straight month in October, although firms remain especially pessimistic about the earnings trend, economy and credit conditions.