Small Business Optimism Reached Record High in April

Washington, DC, May 8, 2018-The Small Business Optimism Index sustained record-high levels increasing to 104.8 in April, driven by reports of improved profits, the highest in the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey’s 45-year history.

Additionally, the number of small businesses reporting poor sales fell to a near record low. April is the 17th consecutive month of historically high readings, according to the survey that was released today.

“Never in the history of this survey have we seen profit trends so high”, said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The optimism small businesses owners have about the economy is turning into new job creation, increased wages and benefits, and investment.”

The frequency of positive profit trends went up three points in April due to gains in operating productivity and stronger sales as well as the newly implemented tax law.

Reports of capital outlays rose three points this month to 61%, indicating that small businesses are confident and strong enough to make investments. Of those businesses making expenditures, 43% are spending on new equipment (up four points), while 27% are acquiring vehicles (up three points).

In addition, more small businesses are planning capital outlays in the next few months, increasing three points to 29%. As the difficulty of finding qualified workers continues to be a major obstacle for small businesses, with 22% citing it as their single most important business problem (up one point), more of this planned spending is expected to go toward training and labor-saving technology.