Small Business Optimism Sank in November

Washington, DC, December 11, 2018-Small business optimism posted a modest decline in November with a reading of 104.8, while continuing its exceptionally strong two-year trend, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index. 

In October, the reading was 107.4. 

Slightly more than half of the decline was attributable to Expected Business Conditions and Expected Real Sales. Increases in compensation tied a near 30-year high as owners seek to attract more qualified candidates. An increasing percentage of owners reported capital outlays and higher sales.

When viewing the responses received prior to and after the election, the value of the Index was basically unchanged after the election results were known. Capital spending and job creation plans improved. Job openings lost four points but remained very strong. Inventory investment plans declined but remained positive as owners reported additions to current stocks. Expected real sales and expected business conditions six months out fell four and eleven points respectively, and the percent viewing the current period as a good time to expand fell one point.