The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.1 points in July, rising to 94.6. Four of the ten index components posted gains, while four declined.
Labor market conditions weakened during the month, as 53% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire, down 3 points from June. Forty-six percent of workers reported few or no qualified workers (down 2 points from June). Fourteen percent of employers surveyed cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their top business problem. A seasonally adjusted net 12% of employers plan to create new jobs, up 1 point from the previous month.
The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months fell 4 points to a net negative 8%. Twelve percent of small business owners reported weak sales as their top business problem, up 1 point from June.
Capital spending increased as 59% of owners reported capital outlays, up 2 points. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months fell 1 point to 25%.
Credit conditions improved as 3% of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not met, up 2 points from the previous month. Only 2% of business owners surveyed reported that financing was their top business problem, the same as in June.
Read the NFIB report.