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Recent news shows surging small-business and consumer confidence, near record low unemployment claims, and expectations of continued economic momentum.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: US Consumer Confidence Rises to Highest Level Since 2000

“American consumers are the most confident they’ve been since 2000. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 130.8 in February, highest since November 2000 and up from 124.3 in January. The business research group’s index measures consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their outlook for the next six months. They feel better about today’s economy than they have since March 2001. Their outlook also improved. Tax cuts passed into law last year are starting to show up in workers’ paychecks…. A strong job market is also boosting confidence. The unemployment rate has stayed at a 17-year low 4.1 percent.”

CNBC: Small-Business Confidence Hits Record High in 2018 after Trump Tax-Reform Win

“Small-business confidence is surging in 2018 as optimism rises among small-business owners about the newly enacted tax-reform package, according to the latest CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey, released Tuesday. The CNBC/SurveyMonkey Q1 Small Business Confidence Index saw an increase of five points, from 57 to 62, a record high and the largest quarter-to-quarter move the index has seen since CNBC and SurveyMonkey began measuring last year.”

BLOOMBERG: Record Number of U.S. Small-Business Owners Say It’s a Good Time to Expand

“Optimism among small companies in the U.S. rose more than forecast in January, fueled by a record number of owners who said now was a good time to expand, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday. Six of the 10 components that make up the small-business optimism index increased in January, producing one of the strongest readings in the 45-year history of the survey. The figures show sustained, sturdy business sentiment since the November 2016 election.”

YAHOO! FINANCE: American Small Businesses Are Super Bullish on the U.S. Economy, JP Morgan Study Says

“America’s small- and mid-sized business owners are super bullish on the U.S. economy. According to JP Morgan’s annual business leaders outlook survey released Wednesday, 89% of mid-sized businesses and 63% of small businesses are optimistic about the U.S. economy. Small business optimism is the same compared to last year while mid-size business optimism is up nine points from a year ago…. JP Morgan’s report is yet another example of soaring optimism from U.S. small businesses, one of the strongest economic trends we’ve seen since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016.”

REUTERS: U.S. Jobless Claims near 45-Year Low as Economic Outlook Brightens

“The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 45-year low last week, pointing to strong job growth in February and solid momentum in the economy. The economy’s brightening prospects were also underscored by other data on Thursday showing a gauge of future economic activity increasing for a fourth straight month in January. Labor market strength should continue to underpin consumer spending, despite a drop in retail sales in January.”

WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Fed Thinks the Economy Has Momentum, Thanks Partly to Tax Cuts, Global Growth

“Federal Reserve officials viewed the economy as gaining momentum when they met last month, thanks partly to the Republican tax cuts, according to notes from the monetary policy meeting released Wednesday. Members of the central bank’s monetary policy committee expected economic growth to remain strong and the labor market to keep improving, and viewed the latest data on consumer and business spending as a sign of ‘substantial underlying economic momentum.’ Specifically, they pointed to the tax overhaul bill signed by President Trump in December as a reason to be optimistic about the economy over the short term, with the improving global economy and favorable financial conditions.”