Optimism among U.S. small-business owners rose slightly in October from a six-month low as capital spending plans improved, indicating stable but cooler economic growth.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s gauge advanced 0.6 points to 102.4, close to this year’s average and exceeding the median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

The measure of planned capital expenditures climbed 2 percentage points to a five-month high of 29%, while the share of business owners who said they plan to create new jobs rose 1 point to 18%. Some 25% of business owners, close to a record share reached in August, indicated that their top business concern was finding qualified workers.

“Labor shortages are impacting investment adversely -- a new truck, or tractor, or crane is of no value if operators cannot be hired to operate them,” William Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist, said in a statement. “The economy will likely remain steady at its current level of activity for the next 12 months as Congress will be focused on other matters, and an election cycle will limit action.”

This article provided by Bloomberg News.