The National Federation of Independent Business’ small-business optimism index increased to 94.9 last month, marking a new high for the year, and up from 94.1 in September. While it still falls short of the historical average of 98, small business optimism looks to end this year on a high note.

This intersects with another interesting number. Due to the presidential election, among other factors, The National Federation of Independent Business’ uncertainty index has reached a 42-year high.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the trade group gets its numbers from a national survey, which received 1,700 respondents in July. This monthly snapshot of the country’s small business sector finds that for October, five of the report’s 10 subindexes rose, three declined and two were unchanged.

As we reported in our latest issue, bakery retailers are especially optimistic heading into this holiday season. Consumers are planning on making more retail purchases as compared to last year, which should have a significant impact on the bakeries.

Some of the encouraging numbers:

  • According to The NPD Group’s 2016 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, consumers plan to spend an average of $636 on holiday-related expenses, up 3 percent from what they anticipated last year.
  • 14 percent of consumers plan to spend “more” than they did during last year’s holiday season.
  • Technomic’s recently released 2016 Bakery and Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report finds that more consumers are visiting bakery and coffee cafes at least once a month compared to two years ago.