Small Business Optimism Declined Slightly to 91.3 in August
Washington, DC, September 12, 2023-NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 of a point in August to 91.3, the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.
Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important business problem, up two points from last month. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased two points to a net 27% (seasonally adjusted), still at an inflationary level.
“With small business owners’ views about future sales growth and business conditions discouraging, owners want to hire and make money now from strong consumer spending,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation and the worker shortage continue to be the biggest obstacles for Main Street.”
Key findings include:
* Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated seven points from July to a net negative 37%, however, 24 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61% but still at recession levels.
* Forty percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, down two points from July but remain historically high.
* The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher decreased two points from July to a net negative 14%.
As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 40% (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. Owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 17% planning to create new jobs in the next three months.