Small business remain generally optimistic, according to the latest survey report from NFIB.
Small business optimism ended the year historically strong, with a reading of 102.7, down 2 points from November. Seven of 10 components fell, two improved, and one was unchanged. An increased number of small business owners reported better business conditions and expect higher nominal sales in the next three months. While frequency of plans to raise compensation fell 2 points, it remains one of the highest readings in the survey’s 46-year history. Small businesses continued to hire and create new jobs with actual job creation matching November’s reading, the highest since May.
The reports are consistent with the NFIB hiring data reported earlier.
Uncertainty, so far, has not dampened expectations.
Although the NFIB Uncertainty Index rose 8 points in November to 80, owners expecting better business conditions increased 3 points to a net 16%. A net 9% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, 3 points above the average reading for 2019. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes increased 3 points to a net 16% of owners, bouncing back from November’s weak reading. Actual sales volumes are strong, and owners are a bit more certain of future sales growth.
A good report.