Small Business Optimism On The Rise But Tempered By Lack Of Skilled Workers
More than half (58%) of small business owners in the United States believe the economy is in good health, according to the Q4 Metlife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. Optimism on the local economy has improved this quarter to 56%, up six points from Q3 2018. However, this optimistic climate is tempered by businesses’ inability to fill positions with skilled workers, according to the report. Of the 40% of small business owners who reported they were actively searching for new hires, 67% said they had difficulty finding candidates with the skills they needed. Owners reported working longer hours and taking on additional roles to compensate. According to the index, this circumstance was “especially pronounced” in businesses run by women (86%), manufacturers (87%), minorities (89%) and Millennials (95%).

Real U.S. GDP Increased 3.5% in 3rd Quarter
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 3.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2018, according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). On its website, the bureau reported that the increase “reflected positive contributions” from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), private inventory investment, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending and “state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from exports and residential fixed investment.” Corporate profits rose 3.4% in the 3rd quarter after increasing 3% in the 2nd quarter.

Sales Rate Of Single-Family Houses Drops For October
About 544,000 home sales occurred across the United States in October, an 8.9% decrease from September, when about 597,000 single-family homes sold, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Toyota Owners: Watch Out For Battery Thieves
Long Beach resident and Metro commuter Rosalind Walker has a warning for locals: watch out for car battery thieves. Last night, the battery from her 2001 Toyota Corolla was stolen from the Del Amo Metro Station parking lot, as were batteries from at least six other Toyotas parked in the lot, she said. Police indicated to her that the battery is compatible with many vehicles. Her car battery was also stolen four months ago in front of her home. The Business Journal has requested more information from the police department to determine if this is an ongoing problem in specific areas of the city or a citywide issue.

Court Ordered To Nullify Ruling That Temporarily Suspended End of Life Option Act
California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ordered a lower court to nullify a ruling that temporarily suspended the End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill patients to seek medical aid in dying. The appeals court argued that the ruling, which was issued in a Riverside County Superior Court, should be nullified because both the plaintiff physicians and their patients are not forced to participate in the law, and thereby have no legal standing in the case. Once the case is sent back to the superior court, the plaintiffs will have an opportunity to argue their legal standing, unless the California Supreme Court takes on the case and rules directly on its constitutionality, according to Jon B. Eisenberg, an attorney representing the advocacy group Compassion & Choices.

Better Business Bureau Launches Online Tool To Report False Advertising
The Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) new online reporting tool, BBB AdTruth, aims to provide consumers with a convenient way to report advertisements containing questionable or insufficiently-founded claims about the advertised product or service. Guiding consumers through a series of questions, AdTruth is designed to identify the claims made by the advertisement and why the person submitting the report believes them to be false or misleading, including an option to submit screenshots or photos to supplement their report. The reporting tool is the most recent launch of the BBB’s AdTruth program, which was started in 2013 with funding from the California courts and Google Inc.