NFIB Survey: Small-Business Owner Roller Coaster Continues
The National Federation of Independent Business said that after last month’s disappointing drop in small-business confidence, April’s Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.6 points to 92.1, just above the recovery average of 90.7. In April’s report, four Index components rose, two fell and four were unchanged. Yet pessimism abounds within the sector, as still far more of those surveyed expect business conditions to be worse in six months than those who think they will be better, the NFIB said.
“Small-business confidence saw an uptick this last month, but it was a ho hum, yawn, at-least-it-didn’t-go-down reading. The sub-par recovery persists for the small business sector,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Economic performance is contradictory-corporate profits are at record levels and the stock market hits new highs, yet GDP growth for the past six months has averaged about 1.5% and the unemployment rate is 7.5%. Nothing in the NFIB data suggests that the small business half of the economy is expanding other than by an amount driven by population growth and associated new business starts now in excess of terminations. The lack of leadership in Washington and the resulting uncertainty depresses consumers’ and business owners’ willingness to spend and invest, and make bets on the future.”
Owners were asked to identify their top business problem: 23% cited taxes, 21% cited regulations and red tape and 16% still cited weak sales. Only 2% reported financing as their top business problem.
For full survey results click here.