Small business owners lost some of their optimism in June even as they kept hiring, according to a survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business. The advocacy group's Small Business Optimism index, compiled from a survey of 672 of its members, fell to 95.0 from May's 96.6.

What Happened: The number of owners who believe the economy will improve in the next few months fell 10 percentage points, and the number expecting their sales to improve fell 4 points. The number planning to spend on equipment and other big investments in their companies fell 2 points. Still, the number of owners who planned to hire was up 2 points, and companies added workers for the ninth month in a row.

What It All Means: Small businesses in general have been hiring more as their confidence has increased. However, both hiring and optimism levels have fluctuated over the past year. And there have been a number of different surveys of owners, each drawing its participants from a different population, which may account for some of the divergent readings. Many economists say what matters is small business hiring; if owners keep adding jobs, the economy will continue to grow.

--Associated Press