Optimism among U.S. small-business owners soared higher than expected in November as the economy appeared to be on solid footing.
The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index climbed 2.3 points to 104.7. That exceeded the consensus forecast for a moderate gain to 102.9.
“This historic run may defy the expectations of many, but it comes as no surprise to small business owners who understand what a supportive tax and regulatory environment can do for their companies,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. “As the two-year anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s passage approaches this month, small businesses, the world’s third-largest economy, are using those savings to power the American economy.”
Optimism took a hit this summer after recession talk reached a crescendo but began to bounce back in October and accelerated upward into November. The NFIB said the impeachment hearings are proving to have “little, if any, impact on small business owners, no different than during the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.”
The November reading was bolstered by seven of the 10 Index components advancing, led by a 10-point improvement in earnings. Owners reporting that it is a good time to expand increased by 6 points and those expecting better business conditions increased by 3 points. A net 30 percent of owners said they have plans for capital outlays in the near future.