The National Federation of Independent Business was founded in 1943 and is the largest small business association in the U.S. The NFIB collects data from small and independent businesses and publishes the Small Business Economic Trends as well as the Small Business Optimism Index every month. The Index is a composite of 10 components based on expectations for: employment, capital outlays, inventories, the economy, sales, inventory, job openings, credit, growth and earnings.
Here is what the NFIB released on October 11th:
“The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.3 points in September to 92.1, making the ninth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Thirty percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business.
Inflation and worker shortages continue to be the hardest challenges facing small business owners. Even with these challenges, owners are still seeking opportunities to grow their business in the current period. Key findings include:
- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased two points from September to a net negative 44%.
- Forty-six percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, down three points from August and remaining historically high.
- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased two points to a net 51% (seasonally adjusted).
- The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher increased nine points from August to a net negative 10%.
- The NFIB Uncertainty Index decreased two points to 72.
As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 23% of planning to create new jobs in the next three months. Of those owners trying to hire, 89% reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.”
More economic data will be released later this week, including MBA Mortgage Applications on Wednesday, CPI data and Jobless Claims on Thursday, and Retail Sales and Consumer Sentiment on Friday.