The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.7 points to 94.5 in June—still below the 40-year average of 98, but the third-consecutive gain. “A negligible increase showing no real enthusiasm for making capital outlays, increasing inventories or expanding,” the National Federation of Independent Business said.
“Small business optimism did not go down, which is good, but small businesses are in maintenance mode experiencing little growth,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Uncertainty is high, expectations for better business conditions are low and future business investments look weak. Our data indicate that there will be no surge from the small business sector anytime soon and prospects for economic growth are cloudy at best.”
The index remains below its 42-year average of 98. Four of its 10 components gained, three declined and three held. Expected Business Conditions had the highest gain, jumping four points. More owners, however, expect conditions to be worse than better.
About 5% of owners reported their borrowing needs were not satisfied and 32% percent reported that they were. “Only 2% reported that financing was their top business problem,” NFIB said. The percentage that reported borrowing regularly held (29%), and the percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease remained unchanged month-to-month, 29% and -6%, respectively.
- Diana Mota, associate editor