Tuesday, April 09, 2013

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Index declines in March

by Bill McBride on 4/09/2013 08:42:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Small Business Optimism Down in March

After three months of sustained growth, the March NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism ended its slow climb, declining 1.3 points and landing at 89.5. In the 44 months of economic expansion since the beginning of the recovery in July 2009, the Index has averaged 90.7, putting the March reading below the mean for this period. ...

Job creation in the small-business sector was perhaps the only bright spot in the March report. The fourth consecutive month of positive job growth, owners reported increasing employment an average of 0.19 workers per firm in the month of March. This is the best reading NFIB has recorded in a year.
In a small sign of good news, only 17% of owners reported weak sales as the top problem (lack of demand).  During good times, small business owners usually complain about taxes and regulations - and taxes are now the top problem again.

Small Business Optimism Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986. The index decreased to 89.5 in March from 90.8 in February.

Note: Small businesses have a larger percentage of real estate and retail related companies than the overall economy. 

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