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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Archives - Shopfloor

NFIB: Small Business Owners Remained Very Upbeat in April despite some Easing in Confidence

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners in April remained near the 12-year high seen in January even as it has eased a little since then. The Small Business Optimism Index edged down from 104.7 in March to 104.5 in April. While lower than the 105.9 reading recorded in January, it is clear that owners continue to be quite optimistic since the election. Over the past five months, the headline index has averaged 105.2, illustrating the sizable uptick in confidence observed since the election. One year ago, the index was 93.6. Along those lines, the percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” increased from 22 in March to 24 in April. This was down from 25 percent in January but well above the 8 percent who said the same thing in April 2016. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Owners Remained Very Upbeat in March

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners in March remained near the 12-year high seen in January even as it has eased a little since then. The Small Business Optimism Index edged down from 105.3 in February to 104.7 in March, which was not far from the 105.9 reading recorded in January. Over the past four months, the headline index has averaged 105.4, illustrating the sizable uptick in confidence observed since the election. One year ago, the index was 92.6. Along those lines, the percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” was unchanged at 22 percent in March. This was down from 25 percent in January but well above the 6 percent who said the same thing in March 2016. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Soared in December to its Highest Reading in 12 Years

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners soared in December to its highest reading in 12 years. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 98.4 in November to 105.8 in December. Respondents have responded quite positively in the aftermath of the election, hoping that the new Administration will bring about needed changes on the tax and regulatory front. Beyond the headline number, there were also significant jumps in the underlying data. For instance, the percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” leapt from 11 percent to 23 percent, its fastest pace since the Great Recession. In addition, the percentage expecting sales to increase over the next three months rocketed from 1 percent in October to 31 percent in December, the largest level since October 2005. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Jumped in November Post-Election

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The National Federation of Independent Business reported that sentiment among small business owners jumped in November post-election. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 94.9 in October to 98.4 in November, its highest level since reaching a post-recessionary high of 100.3 in December 2014. As noted in the commentary, small business owners in this survey were hopeful for better tax and regulatory policies as a result of the election, boosting overall sentiment. This can be seen in the data as well. The percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” increased from 9 percent to 11 percent, a 12-month high. In addition, the percentage expecting sales to increase over the next three months soared from 1 percent to 11 percent, the largest level since March 2015. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Edged Marginally Higher in October, but Caution Remained

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners edged marginally higher in October. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 94.1 in September to 94.9 in October, its highest level year-to-date but subdued relative to what we might prefer. The headline index has averaged 94.5 over the past five months, representing some progress after falling to a two-year low in March (92.6). It was down from 96.0 one year ago, however, and small firms continue to be cautious in their economic outlook. The Optimism Index has remained below 100, the threshold which would suggest more-robust growth in the sector, for 22 straight months. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Sentiment Was Mostly Stable in August

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners was mostly stable in August. The Small Business Optimism Index edged down from 94.6 in July to 94.4 in August, hovering around 94.5 for the third straight month and generally improving since achieving a two-year low in March (92.6). Nonetheless, small firms continue to be cautious in their economic outlook, with the headline number remaining below 100, the threshold which would suggest more-robust growth in the sector. Indeed, the underlying data points for August provided a mixed message even while the longer-term trend indicates a mild degree of progress. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Sentiment Ticked Higher Again in July

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners ticked higher in in July. The Small Business Optimism Index rose marginally from 94.5 in June to 94.6 in July, its highest level since December. It marked some continued improvement from March’s two-year low in optimism, even as small firms continue to be concerned about the overall economic outlook. As a sign of this caution, the percentage suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” remained unchanged at 8 percent, down from 10 percent in January and 12 percent one year ago, with economic conditions and the political climate cited by those saying that it would not be a good time for expansion. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Sentiment Edged Up to Its Highest Point since December in June

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners edged slightly higher in June. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 93.8 in May to 94.5 in June, its highest level since December. It marked some continued improvement from March’s two-year low in optimism, even as small firms continue to be concerned about the overall economic outlook. As a sign of this caution, the percentage suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” inched down from 9 percent to 8 percent, with economic conditions and the political climate cited by those saying that it would not be a good time for expansion. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Sentiment Edged Slightly Higher in May

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that sentiment among small business owners edged slightly higher in May. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 93.6 in April to 93.8 in May, its highest level since January. It marked some improvement from March’s two-year low in optimism, even as small firms continue to be concerned about the overall economic outlook. On this latter point, the headline index has remained below 100 – the threshold at which we would say that the sector was growing more strongly – since December 2014. Indeed, demand has been soft for small businesses, with the net percentage reporting higher sales in the last three months dropping from -6 percent to -8 percent. Looking ahead, the net percentage expecting sales to increase in the next three months was unchanged at 1 percent. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Edged Slightly Higher for the Third Straight Month

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism edged slightly higher for the third straight month. The Small Business Optimism Index rose from 95.9 in August to 96.1 in September, its highest level since May and representing some progress from the 94.1 reading observed in June. Yet, it is also clear that small business owners remain anxious about the economy, with index valued under 100 typically coinciding with softer economic growth. Along those lines, the net percentage of respondents expecting sales to increase over the next three months declined from 7 percent to 1 percent, its lowest reading since March 2013. The labor market data were also weaker. The net percentage increasing employment over the last three months declined from 10 percent to 5 percent, with expected hiring over the next three months down marginally from 13 percent to 12 percent. Read More