Small Businesses Slightly More Optimistic In July

The outlook for small-business expansion and business conditions improved a little in July’s Small Business Optimism Index, but other growth indicators failed to move, leaving the overall index ticking up a slight 0.7 to 95.7.

The monthly index from the National Federation of Independent Businesses started in 1986 with a baseline of 100. The monthly survey of NFIB members serves as a steady barometer of the nation’s small-business growth engine.

“On the positive side expectations for business conditions and outlook for expansion accounted for virtually all of the net gain in July’s Index,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg.

“However, capital spending reports continue to remain mediocre, spending plans are weak, and inventories are too large, with more owners reporting sales trends deteriorating than improving.”

Small Business Optimism Index

“As long as these stats continue to hold, the small business half of the economy will continue to not be able to pull its weight.”

Although 13 percent of business owners said weak sales were their biggest problem, that’s one of the lowest readings since December 2007, and 10 percent of business owners expected July sales to grow. Job creation plans continued to strengthen and rose 1 percentage point to a seasonally adjusted 13 percent, the best reading since September 2007. 

Find the full details at NFIB.


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