US NFIB Small business confidence worsened slightly in September, while a further improvement was expected after both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing ISM came out materially stronger than expected. The NFIB small business confidence indicator dropped from 92.9 to 92.8, while an increase to 93.5 was forecast. The breakdown was weaker too as the percentage of firms reporting: plans to hire (4% from 10%), increased capital spending (21% from 24%) and higher selling prices (6% from 9%) weakened significantly from the previous month. Inventory satisfaction (-1% from 0%) and positions not able to fill (17% from 18%) weakened too, while the number of firms reporting plans to increase inventory (-1% from -1%) and expect higher sales (1% from 1%) stayed unchanged from the previous month. A pick-up was registered from the previous month in the number of firms reporting good time to expand (7% from 4%), easing of credit conditions (-7% from -9%), expect better economy (2% from -2%) and positive earnings trend (-27% from -28%). The outcome indicates that small firms remain cautious as the future is still uncertain due to the upcoming fiscal cliff and slowing growth elsewhere, which makes them reluctant to hire and increase inventories.