Small Business Optimism Remained High in March

Washington, DC, April 10, 2018-The small business optimism index reached its 16th consecutive month in the top 5% of 45 years of survey readings, according to the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends survey.

The 104.7 March reading, down from 107.6 in February, remains among the highest in survey history and for the first time since 1982, taxes received the fewest number of votes as the number one problem. Taxes as the number one problem has declined since November 2017, the month before the tax bill passed, from 22% to 13% in March.

“It has been a remarkable 16 months for small business optimism,” said NFIB president and CEO Juanita Duggan. “This is the first time in 35 years where the fewest number of small business owners have told us that taxes are their number one business problem. They’ve been so optimistic that they feel confident enough to raise wages and invest in their business, which grows the economy.”

Survey components include a net 20% of owners are planning to create jobs, up two points from last month. Reports of improved earnings trends were the second best since 1987. Twenty-eight percent believe now is a good time to expand, down four points from February but continues a solid reading.

Small business owners expecting better business conditions fell 11 points to a net 32% and expected sales fell to a net 20%, though both remain at historically high levels.