The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism index jumped to 95.2, a 1.8 point gain and the first time the index is above 95 since October 2007. However the index is still below historical averages. Expected business conditions heavily contributed to the gain and is at the highest level in 8 months.
Financing continues to remain the least cited problem for small businesses in April, dropping to 1% of respondents reporting it as their single most important problem. Loan availability is often seen as a leading indicator of business investment, hiring and economic growth. Taxes along with government requirements and red tape continue to be the most cited problems for small businesses, with 22% and 20% of respondents reporting it as their top problems respectively.
The report was positive given the optimistic future outlook of small businesses. Small businesses on net saw a 9% increase in their expectations of the economy to improve.
Finding qualified applicants is a persistent problem for small businesses. A net 24% have positions they are not able to fill, the highest since at least the recession.
Read the NFIB report.