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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

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

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Ticked Somewhat Higher in April

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism rose somewhat in April, rebounding from a much softer March. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 95.2 in March to 96.9 in April, but remained below the recent peak observed in December (100.4). The December level was the highest since October 2006, but sentiment has been weaker since then as a number of economic headwinds have dampened both activity and the overall outlook to a certain extent. Indeed, this report reflects lingering anxieties about the economy, even as small business owners indicate that they are more upbeat today than they have been in past years. Read More

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Dipped in March

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that small business owners were less confident in March. The Small Business Optimism Index dropped from 98.0 in February to 95.2 in March, its lowest level in 9 months. As such, it continues a trend of weaker survey responses so far in 2015, with the headline index down from 100.4 in December, its highest point since October 2006. To be fair, small businesses remain more upbeat today than one year ago (93.4 in March 2014), but growth has clearly slowed in the past three months due to economic headwinds seen in other reports, as well. Read More

Monday Economic Report – March 16, 2015

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Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report: 

Global news dominated the headlines once again last week. The euro sank lower as the European Central Bank began its quantitative easing program, where it plans to purchase 1 trillion euros in government bonds over the next 18 months in an effort to stimulate faster economic growth. As a result, the euro has depreciated by nearly 25 percent over the past 10 months, down from $1.3924 per one euro on May 6 to a close of $1.0483 on Friday. There is also some expectation that it will move to parity soon, a level last seen in November 2002. (For more information on international developments, see the latest Global Manufacturing Economic Update.) Read More

NFIB: Mixed News on Small Business Optimism in February

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The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said that optimism rose marginally in February. The Small Business Optimism Index increased from 97.9 in January to 98.0 in February, but remained below the peak observed in December (100.4). The December level was the highest since October 2006. The good news was that the headline index has trended higher, up from 91.4 in February 2014. With that said, there continue to be some lingering anxieties about the economic outlook, with some of the underlying data points easing a bit in February. Read More