Small Business Optimism Rose to 91.5 in June

Washington, DC, July 9, 2024-The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index reached the highest reading of the year in June at 91.5, a one-point increase from last month. The last time the index was higher was in December of 2023 when it reached 91.9. Even so, this marks the 30th month below the historical average of 98. Inflation is still the top small business issue, with 21% of owners reporting it as their single most important problem in operating their business, down one point from May.

“Main Street remains pessimistic about the economy for the balance of the year,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Increasing compensation costs has led to higher prices all around. Meanwhile, no relief from inflation is in sight for small business owners as they prepare for the uncertain months ahead.”

Key findings include:

* Seasonally adjusted, a net 22% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up four points from May.

* A net negative 2% (seasonally adjusted) of owners viewed current inventory stocks as “too low” in June, up six points from May’s lowest reading since October 1981.

* A net negative 2% (seasonally adjusted) plan inventory investment in the coming months, up four points from May.

* Fifty-two percent reported capital outlays in the last six months, down six points from May and the lowest reading since August 2022.

* Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, up one point from May and the highest reading since August 2022.