The election that returned President Barack Obama to office and left congress split between a Democratic-controlled Senate and a House led by Republicans may have raised concern that a deal to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to take effect in January will be difficult to achieve. The survey showed superstorm Sandy had little influence on the index.
The election “created much uncertainty among business owners as to the future direction of economic policy and the economy,” William Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Apparently, the level of uncertainty was not resolved in a way that was supportive of many small business owners.”
Last month’s drop exceeded the 5.4-point decrease seen in October 2008 in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and the 5.2-point fall in September 2001 following the terrorist attacks in the U.S.