Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NFIB: Small Business Optimism Index increased in July

by Calculated Risk on 8/13/2013 10:11:00 AM

Earlier this morning from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Small Business Optimism Up Marginally

Small business optimism [increased] in July, with NFIB’s monthly Index increasing just over half a point (0.6) for a total reading of 94.1. ... On the positive front, while the two labor market indicators remained weak, both improved and are beginning to push into "normal" territory. ...

Credit continues to be a non-issue for small employers, five percent of whom say that all their credit needs were not met in July, unchanged from June and May, and the lowest reading since February 2008.
Small business hiring plans increased in the July survey to a reading of 9 from 7 in June (zero is neutral). This was the 2nd highest reading since 2008.

In another small sign of good news, only 16% of owners reported weak sales as the top problem (lack of demand). This was down from 18% last month, down from 20% a year ago, and half the peak of 33% during the recession. During good times, small business owners usually complain about taxes and regulations - and those are now the top problems again.

Small Business Optimism Index Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986. The index increased to 94.1 in July from 93.5 in June.   This is still low, but just below the post-recession high.

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