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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

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

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Edged Marginally Higher in August

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism edged marginally higher in August, with sentiment still lower than seen earlier in the year. The Small Business Optimism Index rose from 95.4 in July to 95.9 in August, but remained down from 98.3 in May, its peak so far this year. Index values under 100 usually coincide with softer economic growth for small firms. This suggests that small business owners remain anxious about the economy. The percentage of respondents saying that the next three months were a “good time to expand” declined from 12 percent to 10 percent, with economic conditions and the political climate weighing heavily on the minds of those suggesting that it was not a good time for expansion. On the positive side, the headline index has averaged 96.5 year-to-date, up slightly from the 95.6 average observed in all of last year. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Increased a Little in July, with Owners Still Somewhat Anxious

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism increased a little in July, partially rebounding from the decline seen in June. The Small Business Optimism Index rose from 94.1 in June to 95.4 in July, but this figure remains below the 98.3 registered in May. As such, the data pointed to progress for the month, even as it continued to highlight nagging anxieties about the economy. Index values under 100 usually coincide with softer economic growth for small firms. On the positive side, the percentage of respondents saying that it was a “good time to expand” jumped from 9 percent to 12 percent for the month, which, while encouraging, remained somewhat below the 16 percent observed in December. Economic conditions and the political climate cited as the top concerns for those suggesting that was not the right time for expansion. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Dipped in June after Rebounding in Prior Two Months

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism dipped in June after rebounding in the prior two months. The Small Business Optimism Index declined from 98.3 in May to 94.1 in June, its lowest level in 15 months. As such, it suggests that sentiment has once again moved in the wrong direction, reversing signs of progress in April and May. In addition, it remained below the peak observed in December (100.4), which was the highest level since October 2006. The percentage of respondents suggesting that the next three months would be a “good time to expand” dropped from 14 percent to 9 percent, with economic conditions and the political climate cited as the top concerns for those suggesting that was not the right time for expansion. Read More

Monday Economic Report – June 15, 2015

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Here are the files for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Manufacturers and other businesses came into this year with a lot of optimism, particularly given robust growth in the second half of last year. Instead, economic growth has been disappointing year-to-date. A number of significant headwinds have challenged the sector, including a stronger dollar, lower crude oil prices, the residual effects of the West Coast ports slowdown and cautiousness in consumer spending. Much of this can be seen in recent GDP and production figures, which have reflected recent declines in activity, particularly in the first quarter. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Up for the Second Straight Month

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism rose for the second straight month. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 96.9 in April to 98.3 in May, its highest level so far in 2015. This suggests that small business owners have begun to move beyond the recent lull in confidence. Still, it remained below the peak observed in December (100.4), which was the highest level since October 2006. Indeed, this report continues to reflect lingering anxieties about the economy, even as owners indicate that they are more upbeat today than they have been in past years. Read More