The latest small business economic reports are out in the United States. They show the economy remains strong and continues to grow, despite slight hiccups in the form of hurricanes that hit the Southeast, and higher energy prices.
We had real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 3.8% in the third quarter of 2005 — not bad at all. That was according to the SBA’s Quarterly Indicators Report (PDF).
With the high energy prices and all the hurricane damage sustained in the United States this year, in a way it is rather remarkable that the optimism of small business owners dipped only the barest amount in the third quarter, and in fact ticked up in October. The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) had this to say in its Small Business Economic Trends Quarterly Report  (PDF) issued earlier this month:
The October survey indicates that economic growth will be very strong in the fourth quarter, with strong job growth and a reduced unemployment rate. Inflation will be uncomfortably high, but will not accelerate. Job creation plans remain exceptionally high and reports of actual hiring historically strong. Inventory accumulation plans also strengthened, although capital spending plans softened a bit. Optimism about the economy surged, counter to reports from consumer surveys. Strength was solid by industry and region — no real weak spots. So, in spite of a number of worrisome macro imbalances, the economy will continue on a solid growth path.
It looks like economic conditions in 2006 will continue strong, at least through the first half.