Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in April, "Poor Sales" Near Record Low

by Bill McBride on 5/08/2018 08:57:00 AM

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): April 2018 Report: Small Business Optimism Index

The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history. Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low.
..
Reports of employment gains remain strong among small businesses ... Owners reported adding a net 0.28 workers per firm on average, the third highest reading since 2006 (down from 0.36 workers reported last month, the highest since 2006). ...

Fifty-seven percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 4 points), but 50 percent (88 percent of those hiring or trying to hire) reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-two percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem (up 1 point), exceeding the percentage citing taxes or regulations.
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 104.8 in April.

Note: Usually small business owners complain about taxes and regulations.  However, during the recession, "poor sales" was the top problem.

Now the difficulty of finding qualified workers is the top problem.