Small Business Optimism Index Increased to 107.6 in February

Washington, DC, March 13, 2018-Small business owners are showing unprecedented confidence in the economy as the optimism index continues at record high numbers, rising to 107.6 in February, according to the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey. The historically high numbers include a jump in small business owners increasing capital outlays and raising compensation.

For the first time since 2006, taxes received the fewest votes as the number one business problem for small business. The February report shows several components of the Index reached noteworthy highs. In a sign that small businesses are confident and expect growth, owners are spending capital with a net 22% planning to raise worker compensation and 66% reported capital outlays, up 5 points from January and the highest reading since 2004.

Moreover, owners expecting higher real sales rose 3 points to a net 28%, one of the best readings since 2007. Owners also reported higher nominal sales in the past three months at a net 8% of all owners. The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases rose three percentage points to a net 7% on top of a six-point rise in January.

Job creation remained strong in February, as reported in the NFIB February Jobs Report, released last week. Finding qualified workers remained as the number one problem for small business owners, surpassing taxes and regulations which have held the top two spots for years.