Small Business Optimism Rose 2.9 Points to 102.5 in June

Washington, DC, July 13, 2021-The NFIB Optimism Index increased 2.9 points in June to 102.5, the first time the Index exceeded 100 since November 2020. Seven of the ten Index components improved and three declined. The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased four points to 83.

“Small businesses optimism is rising as the economy opens up, yet a record number of employers continue to report that there are few or no qualified applicants for open positions,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are also having a hard time keeping their inventory stocks up with strong sales and supply chain problems.”

Other key findings include:

* Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months rose 14 points to a net negative 12%, an improvement but still in very negative territory.

* Earnings trends over the past three months improved six points to a net negative 5%.

* The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased seven points to a net 47% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading since January 1981.

As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 46% of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of two points from May but still historically high and above the 48-historical average of 22%. Small employers have plans to fill open positions, job creation plans over the next three months rose to a net 28%, up one point.

Down from May’s report, 53% of owners reported capital outlays in the last six months. Of those making expenditures, 36% reported spending on new equipment, 23% acquired vehicles, and 14% improved or expanded facilities. Six percent of owners acquired new buildings or land for expansion and 11% spent money for new fixtures and furniture.

A net 9% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes improved five points to a net 7%.

The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases rose two points to a net 1%. A net 11% of owners view current inventory stocks as “too low” in June, up three points from May and a historically high reading.

A record high reading, a net 11% of owners plan inventory investment in the coming months.