Small Business Optimism Reaches Post-Recession High in April

NFIB Index Inches Back to 2007 Levels as U.S. Economy Improves Modestly

May 13, 2014 – Small business optimism is on the rise, according to the latest survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. The April Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to a post-recession high of 95.2, crossing the 95 marker for the first time since 2007. 

“Small business confidence rising is always a good thing, but it’s tough to be excited by meager growth in an otherwise tepid economy,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg, but his assessment was cautious at best. “April’s Index did pass the 95 mark, that seemed to block any progress in optimism for the past five years. However, the Index is still 5 points below the average reading from 1973 to 2008, and far from what is considered expansion levels. This reading can only be characterized as a high end recession reading,”nfib-index-april2014

The NFIB lobbies on behalf of small businesses, and Dunkelberg took aim at lawmakers as well.

“Washington remains in a state of policy paralysis,” he said. “From the small business perspective there continues to be no progress on their top problems:  cost of health insurance, uncertainty about economic conditions, energy costs, uncertainty about government actions, unreasonable regulation and red tape, and the tax code.”

Seven of the index’s 10 components improved, including increased employment for the seventh month in a row, and the best sales increase since early 2012. The index is based on a survey of 1,699 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership.

The complete survey may downloaded at


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