Small Business Optimism Rose to 91.9 in July
Washington, DC, August 8, 2023-The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.9 of a point in July to 91.9, marking the 19th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98. Twenty-one percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, down three points from June.
“With small business owners’ views about future sales growth and business conditions dismal, owners want to hire and make money now from solid consumer spending,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation has eased slightly on Main Street, but difficulty hiring remains a top business concern.”
Key findings include:
* Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months improved 10 points from June to a net negative 30%, 31 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61%. This is the highest reading since August 2021 but historically very negative.
* Forty-two percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, unchanged from June but remaining historically very high.
* The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased four points to a net 25% seasonally adjusted, still a very inflationary level but trending down. This is the lowest reading since January 2021.
* The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher improved two points from June to a net negative 12%, a very pessimistic perspective.