A new report from the National Federation of Independent Business shows small-business owners are optimistic the economy will keep chugging along.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index ratcheted up one-tenth of a point to 101.8. Among the components to see a drop was the uncertainty index which fell six points to 79, a level NFIB said is normal compared to recent years.
“Small business owners continue to create jobs, expand their operations, and are enjoying strong sales,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Since Congress resolved the shutdown, uncertainty has declined as small business owners add jobs, increase sales, and invest in their businesses and employees.”
NFIB Florida head Bill Herrle said Florida business owners are “particularly enthusiastic as they watch Governor Ron DeSantis take the reins. Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida continues to outpace the nation in job growth, labor force growth, and record low unemployment rates, and small business owners are excited about what the future holds.”
According to the optimism index, three-fifths of business owners made capital outlays last month, up two points, and 27 percent plan to do so in the near future, which is unchanged from the prior index.
Additionally, the net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” lost four points to a net negative six percent, suggesting that inventories are still viewed as excessive. The net percent of owners planning to expand inventory holdings fell from one percent to a negative one percent.
“Owners are growing their businesses and expect that they can sell more if they can produce more with additional employees,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Investment spending has been solid for the past two years and owners are choosing to invest in their workforce as well by creating new jobs and raising wages.”
The Optimism Index follows a healthy March NFIB Jobs Report that found record-high job creation over the past two months — only 1 percent laid off workers, while 12 percent made hires and another 60 percent have openings they are looking to fill.
The inability to find qualified workers was cited as a top business problem more than by 21 percent of owners, making it the top problem in the report.