The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 1.0 point in April, rising to 93.6. Five of the ten components posted gains on the month, while only one posted a decline.
Labor market conditions improved in April, as 53% of small business reported hiring or trying to hire, up from 48% in March. Forty-six percent of employers reported few or no qualified applicants for available positions, up 5 points from the previous month. A seasonally adjusted net 11% of employers plan to create new jobs, up 2 points from March.
The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months rose 2 points to a net negative 6%. Eleven percent of small business owners cited weak sales as their top business problem, down 2 points from the previous month.
Capital spending picked up slightly, with 60% of businesses reporting capital outlays, up 1 point on the month. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months remained unchanged at 25%.
Credit conditions improved slightly, as 4% of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not met, down 1 point from March. Fifty-two percent of respondents explicitly said they did not want a loan, down 1 point on the month. Two percent of owners cited financing as their top business problem, unchanged on the month.
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