March 26, 2007 -- While more small-business owners were expecting conditions in their specific markets to improve in the March, their general outlook on the economy continued to sour, Discover reported on Monday.

In a survey of 1,000 business owners nationwide this month, 49 percent said economic conditions for their businesses were getting better, compared to just 44 percent in February, the report said.

The number of owners reporting cash-flow problems also eased in March, dropping to 33 percent from 39 percent in February, the report said.

At the same time, 51 percent said they believed the economy as a whole was getting worse, up from 47 percent last month, the report.

"With uncertainty in so many sectors, it isn't surprising that the percentage of small-business owners who feel the overall economy is getting worse did increase this month, " Sastry Rachakonda, director of Discover's small-business credit card, said in a statement.

- next -