Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Small Business Optimism Index "Dips" in December

by Calculated Risk on 1/15/2020 11:15:00 AM

CR Note: This was released yesterday. Most of this survey is noise, but there is some information, especially on the labor market and the "Single Most Important Problem".

From the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): December 2019 Report: Small Business Optimism Dips in December

Small business optimism ended the year historically strong, with a reading of 102.7, down 2 points from November.
Net job creation had faded from February’s 0.52 workers per firm to September’s 0.10, but is back in strong territory. Finding qualified workers remains the top issue for 23 percent reporting this as their number one problem, 4 points below August’s record high.
emphasis added
Small Business Optimism IndexClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index decreased to 102.7 in December.

Note: Usually small business owners complain about taxes and regulations (currently 2nd and 3rd on the "Single Most Important Problem" list). However, during the recession, "poor sales" was the top problem. Now the difficulty of finding qualified workers is the top problem.