Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Small Business Optimism Increased Slightly in February

by Calculated Risk on 3/10/2020 08:46:00 AM

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): February 2020 Report

Small business owners expressed slightly higher levels of optimism in February with the NFIB Optimism Index moving up 0.2 points to 104.5 ...
..
Strong job creation continued in February, with an average addition of 0.43 workers per firm, adding to a strong 1st quarter of 2020. Finding qualified workers remains the top issue with 25 percent reporting this as their number one problem.
emphasis added
Small Business Optimism IndexClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the small business optimism index since 1986.

The index increased to 104.5 in February.

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.