Small-business owners' confidence in the economy rebounded in July after sinking to its lowest level in June, as concerns about cash flow eased, according to a monthly survey by Discover Financial Services. In July, 33% of 1,000 small-business owners surveyed said they had experienced cash-flow issues during the previous 90 days, down from 42% who said so in June, according to the Discover Small Business Watch. The Watch is a monthly index measuring the relative economic confidence of U.S. small-business owners, which is calculated by assigning values to responses to six consistent questions. The base value was established at 100 based on surveys conducted in August 2006 when the Watch began. In July the Watch jumped to 84.6, up 12.8 points from 71.8 in June, the lowest level since its inception. The Watch hit its highest level in March 2007 at 117.7. Among the survey respondents in July, 17% said they believe the U.S. economy is getting better, an increase from 9% who thought so in June, while 17% rated the economy as good or excellent, an increase of 12% from June. Moreover, 42% of small-business owners surveyed said the real-estate downturn has had a negative effect on their business, while 47% say it has not negatively affected them. Looking ahead, 43% of small-business owners said that if obtaining credit becomes more difficult, it will have a negative effect on their business, up from 35% who said so in August. Rasmussen Reports LLC conducted the survey.

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