Tuesday, March 10, 2015

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Index Increased slightly in February

by Bill McBride on 3/10/2015 09:04:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Small Business Optimism Rises Despite Falling Sales Trends

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Survey for February rose 0.1 points to 98.0 a solid result despite some unfavorable conditions.

“In spite of slow economic activity and awful weather in a lot of the country, small business owners are finding reasons to hire and spend which is great news. Of the ten components, owners reporting hard-to-fill job openings was the largest gain increasing three points to a 29 percent which is a nine year high.

“Large firms have been powering the economic recovery since the Great Recession, but that may be shifting to the small business sector. February’s data suggests there are fundamental domestic economic currents leading business owners to add workers and these should bubble up in the official statistics and support stronger growth in domestic output.” ...
Fourteen percent cited the availability of qualified labor as their top business problem, the highest since September 2007. The job openings figure is one of the highest in 40 years and this suggests that labor markets are tightening and that there will be more pressure on compensation in the coming months.
emphasis added

Small Business Optimism Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index increased to 98.0 in February from 97.9 in January.