The franchise industry posted its highest year-over-year gain since the beginning of the recession in September, up 2.2 percent since September 2011, according to the International Franchise Association.
IFA says a drop in the unemployment rate and an improvement in small-business credit conditions contributed most to the September gain in the index. The measurement combines indicators of growth in the industries where franchising is most prevalent, as well as of the general economic environment for franchising.
According to IFA's 2012 Third Quarter Franchise Business Economic Outlook, the number of franchise establishments in the U.S. will have risen by 1.5 percent in 2012, or nearly 11,000 new businesses, compared to a decline of 3,984 establishments in 2011. It's the first time since 2008 the industry will add new units.
Since 2008, the industry has lost more than 23,000 establishments, attributed to the recession and its effects on consumer confidence, the housing market, credit access and jobs.