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HomeNewsEconomySmall Business Optimism Index Hits Second Highest Level Ever in July

Small Business Optimism Index Hits Second Highest Level Ever in July

A team of millennial business owners collaborating on an online project using a touchpad tablet in a modern office space. (Photo: AdobeStock/AYAimages)
A team of millennial business owners collaborating on an online project using a touchpad tablet in a modern office space. (Photo: AdobeStock/AYAimages)

A team of millennial business owners collaborating on an online project using a touchpad tablet in a modern office space. (Photo: AdobeStock/AYAimages)

The Small Business Optimism Index rose to within 0.1 point of the highest level in the survey’s 45-year history at 107.9. The second highest level beat the 107.1 consensus forecast and nearly matched the all-time high of 108 measured in July 1983.

“Small business owners are leading this economy and expressing optimism rivaling the highest levels in history,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. “Expansion continues to be a priority for small businesses who show no signs of slowing as they anticipate more sales and better business conditions.”

As with many other economic indicators and surveys, the Small Business Optimism Index has roared back to life under the Trump Administration. This month’s survey for July provides yet another example.

A net 8% of all small business owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past 3 months juxtaposed to the prior 3 months. July is the eighth consecutive strong month of reported sales gains after years of low or negative numbers.

A net 35% of owners expect better business conditions, increasing slightly by 2 points from June.

“Small business owners have never been so optimistic for so long, helping to power the second longest expansion in history,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Despite challenges in finding qualified workers to fill a record number of job openings, they’re taking advantage of this economy and pursuing growth.”

Fifty-nine percent (59%) said they were hiring or trying to hire, a decline of 4 points. However, 52% — and, 88% of those hiring or trying to hire — reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.

Twenty-three percent (23%) of owners cited having a difficulty finding qualified workers as their single most important business problem, a gain of 2 points from the reading in June and just 1 point below the 45-year record high.

Click here to view the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey.

About the Small Business Economic Trends

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the 4th quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from a random sample of NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. This survey was conducted in July 2018.

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PPD Business, the economy-reporting arm of People's Pundit Daily, is "making sense of current events." We are a no-holds barred, news reporting pundit of, by, and for the people.

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