Economic Snapshot: Small Businesses Feeling Better, But Not Consumers

With the economy still uncertain, JCK’s Big Picture Monday begins a
weekly summary of economic indicators impacting the jewelry industry.

– U.S. consumer sentiment fell in September, according to a widely
watched survey by
Reuters and the University of Michigan.

The UMich index declined to 66.6, its lowest level since
August 2009.

The National Federation of
Independent Business
Index of Small Business Optimism gained 0.7 points in
August, rising to 88.8.

Most of the improvement was from gains in sales and
expectations for business conditions six months out, the organization said. Yet
both measures are still in recession territory, it added.

– On the bright side, weekly unemployment claims dropped
slightly, according to the Department
of Labor
.