NEW YORK (9/24/13)--U.S. business sentiment took a positive turn last week, according to Moody's Analytics Survey of Business Confidence.
Nearly all of the questions posed in the survey received improved responses for the week ended Sept. 20 (Moody's Economy.com Sept. 23).
Two-thirds of survey respondents said they believe the economy's outlook heading into next year will improve.
Those expectations are stronger than businesses' assessments of current conditions--which has been a positive leading indicator historically, Moody's said.
Equipment and software investment remain strong, but hiring and demand for office space continue to remain weak.
In total, business sentiment is consonant with an economy that is growing at a level near its potential, Moody's said. Growing political acrimony in Washington concerning the federal budget deficit and issues with the Treasury debt ceiling have not harmed business confidence this year, but the situation warrants ongoing scrutiny, Moody's concluded.