Heading into the summer months, small business owners are feeling hopeful about the business opportunities ahead, according to the latest findings from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). On June 11, FNIB announced that several components in the Small Business Optimism Index improved—the overall index increased 1.5 points for a reading of 105 in May.
Capital outlays and actual outlays saw the highest increase, with the former expecting an additional 30% in the coming months. Nearly half of the small businesses indicated plans to invest in transportation, followed closely by investments in manufacturing, professional services and construction.
"Optimism among small business owners has surged back to historically high levels, thanks to strong hiring, investment and sales," NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. "The small business half of the economy is leading the way, taking advantage of lower taxes and fewer regulations, and reinvesting in their businesses, their employees and the economy as a whole."
Higher nominal sales and higher real sales volumes were both up. NFIB states a quarter of business owners anticipate higher real sales, a fraction expect better business conditions and more than a quarter believe now is the time to expand. Meanwhile, earnings, job creation and compensation held steady in May. The biggest issue was finding qualified workers.
—Andrew Michaels, editorial associate