SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM PLATEAUS
NFIB SURVEY SHOWS SLUGGISH RECOVERY IN THIS “SO-CALLED EXPANSION”
The Index of Small Business Optimism rose one-tenth of a point in July to 94.6, a meager increase showing no real enthusiasm for expansion, expected sales, and making capital outlays, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“Small business optimism was pretty much unchanged during the month of July and small businesses continue to be in maintenance mode,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Uncertainty is high, expectations for better business conditions are low, and future business investments look weak. Our data indicates that there is little hope for a surge in the small business sector anytime soon.”
At 94.6, the Index remains well below the 42-year average of 98. Four of the 10 Index components posted a gain, four declined, and two were unchanged. The outlook for business conditions in the next six months continued to improve, gaining 16 percentage points since January, but still more owners still expect conditions to be worse than expect improvement.
Owners are still reporting that they cannot find qualified workers and cite it as their third “Single Most Important Business Problem.” Earnings trends and expectations of higher sales also worsened. And the political climate continues to be the second most frequently cited reason for why owners think the current period is a bad time to expand after economic conditions.
“Small business optimism has been absent for 89 out of the last 91 months,” said Juanita Duggan, NFIB President and CEO. “Without that optimism, small business owners will not invest, borrow, or create jobs. Small business owners need lower taxes and fewer government mandates and regulations in order to break out of this slump.”
NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey is based on a monthly survey of small businesses. The survey was conducted in July and reflects the response of 1,703 small businesses.
Original Article: http://www.nfib.com/surveys/small-business-economic-trends/