Small business sentiment rose for the second month according to the NFIB Optimism Index. The index rose by 1.8 points to 93.8, the fourth monthly gain since September. Despite this gain the overall reading remains in recession territory and is still 6 points below the pre-recession average.
Sales remain the largest concern for small business. The net percentage of owners reporting higher nominal sales over the past three months was -7%, indicating that more firms continue to see sales trending down. Despite this, expectations for future sales have improved, with a net 9% of owners expecting improving sales next year.
“Access to credit continues to rank at the bottom of concerns, with only 4 percent reporting financing as their No.1 problem.” Spending has improved, but remains “far short of normal,” with only 24% of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months. “Money is available, but most owners are not interested in a loan to finance the purchase of equipment that they don’t need.”
Read the report.