Tuesday, January 12, 2016

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in December

by Bill McBride on 1/12/2016 09:23:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): NFIB Survey Remains Flat, With Small Business Owners Divided on Sales Outlook, Business Conditions

The overall Index gained a modest 0.4 points in December. It now stands at 95.2, which is well below the 42-year average of 98. ...

Reported job creation faded a bit in December, with the average employment gain per firm falling to -0.07 workers from .01 in November, basically flat for the last few months. Fifty-five percent reported hiring or trying to hire (unchanged), but 48 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. ... Twenty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point and at the highest level for this expansion. This is a solid reading historically and indicates no significant change in the unemployment rate. A seasonally adjusted net 15 percent plan to create new jobs, up 4 points, a nice gain, possibly driven by the surge in expected real sales gains.
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 95.2 in December.

Hiring plans are solid.