What Goes Up
Now there's a new way to track small business's ups and downs.
Entrepreneurs don't need a graphing calculator to know that business conditions have fallen from the Himalayan heights of the end of the past decade to somewhere close to sea level. But now Democrats on the House Small Business Committee have produced a Small Business Index (SBI) that tracks those peaks and valleys. Published for the first time last fall, the SBI charts an upswing from 1998 (the first year for which data was collected) until 2000, and then a devastating descent to the second quarter of 2003 (the most recent quarter for which data was collected).
The SBI groups 19 economic indicators into four categories: costs factors, credit conditions, industry metrics and trade competitiveness. After reaching a five-year high of 107.73 in 2000, the SBI slid to a five-year low of 72.16 in the second quarter of 2003.
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