Small businesses can breathe a sigh of relief moving forward as this past month saw a rise in expansion and higher nominal sales, according to the National Federation of Independent Business' (NFIB) July Small Business Optimism Index. The index reached a near-record high of 107.9, just one-tenth of a point shy of the highest record ever recorded, which was in July 1983.
This month's survey also set a record for owners reporting job creation plans and for owners reporting job openings. About 23% of owners anticipate having job openings in the near future, which is three points higher than last month's survey. Conversely, 37% of owners also reported having job openings they could not fill, seeing a one-point increase from last month.
The survey also predicts expansion will continue, remaining a priority for small businesses. Expansion seems to be more possible with 8% of survey respondents reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to the three months previous. Similarly, 35% of business owners are expecting better business conditions in the upcoming months, moving up two points in total since June.
"Small business owners are leading this economy and expressing optimism rivaling the highest levels in history," said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan in a press release. "Expansion continues to be a priority for small businesses who show no signs of slowing as they anticipate more sales and better business conditions."
—Christie Citranglo, editorial associate