Small Business Optimism Down a Hair in July

Washington, DC, August 11, 2020-NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.8 points to 98.8 in July, near the survey’s historical average. Overall, four of the ten Index components improved, five declined, and one was unchanged. 

The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased seven points to 88. Reports of expected better business conditions in the next six months declined 14 points to a net 25%. Owners continue to temper their expectations of future economic conditions as the COVID-19 public health crisis is expected to continue.

“This summer has been challenging for many small business owners who are working hard to keep their doors open and remain in business,” said NFIB’s chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Small business represents nearly half of the GDP and this month we saw a dip in optimism. There is still plenty of work to be done to get businesses back to pre-crisis numbers.”

Other key findings include:

* Real sales expectations in the next three months decreased eight points to a net 5%.

* The percent of owners thinking it’s a good time to expand decreased two points to 11% of owners.

* Earnings trends over the past three months improved three points to a net negative 32%.

* Job creation plans increased two points to a net 18%.