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Small Business Owners More Optimistic, Planning to Hire

Small Business Owners More Optimistic, Planning to Hire

Small business owners across the U.S. are ramping up their hiring plans for the next six months as they become more optimistic about sales growth, according to the PNC Economic Outlook survey.

The results of the biannual survey indicate nearly one-third of U.S. small business owners are planning to hire new workers in the next six months, with optimism levels climbing back to pre-recession levels.

In addition, nearly three-quarters of the owners said they plan to make an investment in their business over the next six months, the survey found.

"With the start of the baseball season, the economic recovery is on base, but heading home, but rising energy prices, elevated unemployment and a recession in Europe could still prevent it from scoring the winning run," Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC, said in a release.

Overall pessimism about the U.S. economy has fallen sharply among small business owners over the past six months, with 58 percent saying they were optimistic about the country's economic prospects over the next six months.

The South Florida Business Journal reports the positive sentiment among small business owners can also be seen in Florida, where 18 percent of companies plan to hire during the next six months, the highest level since 2010.