<img src="//bat.bing.com/action/0?ti=5067266&amp;Ver=2" height="0" width="0" style="display:none; visibility: hidden;">
GET STARTED

Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Small Business Optimism Fell in September

October 14, 2014
XL_office_desk_work_hero

optimism_index2014 has been full of ups and downs for small business owners. Small business owners’ outlook on the economy has been just as dynamic this year.

Small business owners’ outlook on the economy was up overall in the July Small Business Optimism Index by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). July’s index rose .7 points to 95.7. The latest NFIB Small Business Optimism Index shows that small business optimism is back down. September’s index fell .8 points to 95.3, which is 5 points below the pr-recession average, according to the NFIB.

Small Business Owner Optimism Has Fallen

The September 2014 NFIB Index highlights trends in small business owners’ economic outlook. According to the NFIB:

Labor Markets

  • Small business owners increased employment by an average of .24 workers per firm in September (seasonally adjusted). This was the twelfth positive month in a row and the largest gain this year.

  • Fifty percent of small business owners hired or tried to hire in the last three months.

  • Twenty-one percent of small business owners reported job openings they couldn’t fill in the current periods, which is down five points.

Sales

  • Fourteen percent of small business owners cited weak sales as their top business problem. This is up one point from August, but is still one of the lowest readings since December of 2007.

  • The seasonally adjusted, net percent of small business owners reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months deteriorated by two points to a net negative four percent.

Capital Spending

  • Over half (56 percent) of small business owners reported outlays, which is down two points from August.

  • Of those making expenditures, 38 percent reported spending on new equipment.

  • Of those making expenditures, 12 percent improved or expanded facilities.

Earnings and Wages

  • One percent of small business owners reduced worker compensation.

  • Nineteen percent of small business owners raised compensation.

  • A net, seasonally adjusted 15 percent of small employers plan to raise compensation in the upcoming months, which remains unchanged from the last index.

Inventories

  • A net negative 7 percent of small business owners reported growth in inventories.

  • The net percent of owners planning to add to the inventory stocks rose one point to a net two percent.

Inflation

  • Fourteen percent of small business owners reported reducing their average selling prices in the past three months

  • Seventeen percent of small business owners reported price increases (down three points).

  • Twenty percent of small business owners plan on raising average prices in the next few months.

Want to offer a QSEHRA without the hassle?
Let PeopleKeep automate your benefits for you.
SEE HOW IT WORKS
meeting_wide-1 CTA_purp_R