Business Optimism Falls

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported on November 17 that small business owners are not optimistic about the current economic environment.

The group’s “Optimism Index” decreased by 0.1 points in October to 90.7, marking the 22nd month below the 50-year average. The last time the Optimism Index was at or above the average was December 2021.

“The owners are not optimistic about better business conditions,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business owners are not growing their inventories as labor and energy costs are not falling, making it a gloomy outlook for the remainder of the year.”

The survey found:

  • Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, down one point from last month.
  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months were unchanged from September at a net negative 43%.
  • Forty-three percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, unchanged from September, and remain historically very high.

Find the survey here.

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