Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Index increased in April

by Bill McBride on 5/12/2015 09:06:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Small Business Optimism Rises, But Future Sales Cloud Outlook

The Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.7 points from March to 96.9, this in spite of a quarter of virtually no economic growth. Unfortunately, the Index remained below the January reading. Nine of the 10 Index components gained, only real sales expectations were weaker. But this still leaves the Index below its historical average, oscillating between 95 and 98 but never breaking out except for December, when the Index just tipped past 100, only to fall again.
...
Small businesses posted another decent month of job creation. Those that hired were more aggressive than those reducing employment, producing an average increase of 0.14 workers per firm, continuing a string of solid readings for 2015. ... Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 3 points from March. A net 11 percent plan to create new jobs, up 1 point and a solid reading.
emphasis added
More good news: Only 11 percent of companies reported "poor sales" as the most important problem, down from 16% a year ago, and a recession high of 34%.

Small Business Optimism Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index increased to 96.9 in April from 95.2 in March.