Survey: Small biz losing confidence:

November 12, 2007

Confidence among managers of businesses with less than $5 million in sales is waning in both Indianapolis and the state as a whole, according to a survey by National City.

The Cleveland-based bank found that confidence slipped in September and October in the Indianapolis area, and for a couple of months prior when the entire state is taken into consideration.

The drop isn't severe. An index for Indianapolis stood at 75.6 in October compared to 83.3 in August; statewide, the index was 75.2 in October and 80.4 in June.

Other states included in the survey-Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania-also saw a drop in confidence.

Managers in Illinois and Kentucky were more optimistic than peers in Indiana. Among cities surveyed, managers in Louisville, Columbus and Cincinnati were more confident than their counterparts in Indianapolis.

"Indiana has been a middle-of-the-road performer in the past few years and confidence shows up accordingly," said National City economist Ryan Reed.

Reed blamed most of the cooling sentiment on the bust in the housing market.

Overall confidence across the region is at its lowest since the survey was started in January 2005.
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