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Small-business owners in August continued to show confidence in the economy, as they perceived conditions for their companies improving, according to a monthly survey Discover Financial Services sponsors. The findings show economic confidence among small-business owners rose to its highest level in 18 months. The monthly Discover Small Business Watch index increased to 89.8, up from 82.1 in July, representing the highest level since 90.9 in February 2008. The Watch is a monthly report measuring relative economic confidence of 750 randomly selected small-business owners based on their responses to six questions. Its creators established a base index of 100 when the Watch began in August 2006. "For the past few months, small-business owners have shown rising confidence in the overall economy, as well as an increasing sense that the conditions for their own businesses are improving," Ryan Scully, Discover business credit card director, said of the report's findings. "This month we have a few more signs that they may be ready to start trying to grow their businesses again and that the worst may be over." The percentage of small-business owners who say the economy is getting better increased to 38% this month from 30% in July. Some 27% of small-business owners say the plan to increase spending on business development, including advertising, inventory and capital expenditures, up from 23% who said so in July.

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