The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 points in March to 104.7, maintaining the high level of post-election optimism. Three of the ten index components rose, while five declined.
Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting better business conditions fell one point to a net 46%. The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months rose three points to 5%. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes fell eight points to a net 18% of owners. Capital spending increased as 64% of owners reported capital outlays, up two points from February. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months rose three points to 29%, which is the highest reading since the financial crisis.
Credit conditions mostly held steady, as 4% of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not met, an increase of one point. Only 2% of business owners surveyed reported that financing was their top business problem, unchanged from the past four months.
Read the NFIB report.
Visit Banks and the Economy.