The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index posted a strong increase of 3.5 points in November to 98.4. Eight of the ten index components rose, while one declined and one was unchanged.
Reported job creation remained weak in November, as only 55% of businesses reported hiring or trying to hire. Fifty-two percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Sixteen percent of employers surveyed cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their top business problem. A seasonally adjusted net 15% of owners plan to create new jobs, up 5 points from the previous month.
The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months fell 1 point to a net negative 8%. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes rose 10 points to a net 11% of owners. Capital spending decreased as 55% of owners reported capital outlays, down 2 points from October. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months fell 3 points 24%.
Credit conditions held from October, as 4% of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not met. Only 2% of business owners surveyed reported that financing was their top business problem, unchanged from October.
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