U.S. small business confidence edged up for the second consecutive month in May and hit a one-year high, as the outlook of economy and future sales improves, a leading industry association said Tuesday. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that its Small-Business Optimism Index rose 2.3 points to 94.4 in May, the highest since May 2012. May\'s reading is also the second highest since the recession started in December 2007. The index fluctuated between 86.5 and 94.5 since the latest recession ended in June 2009. Eight of 10 index components climbed last month. Among the greatest increases were economic expectation, sales expectation and expansion plan, the NFIB noted. However, the net percentage of owners expecting more earnings remained at minus 22 percent, and the net share of owners expecting economy to improve was minus 5 percent. \"Small-business confidence rising is always a good thing, but it\'s tough to be excited by meager growth in an otherwise tepid economy,\" NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement. The NFIB also noted the small business had not been generating growth beyond population gains and many existing firms had not yet started to replace the workers shed during the recession. The small business industry, accounting for 99 percent of all companies in the U.S., is the major driver of the U.S. economy and employs half of the country\'s labor force.