Small Business Optimism Soars to Highest Level Ever

An American Flag and a Donald Trump flag wave outside a Donald Trump rally at Millington Regional Jetport on February 27, 2016 in Millington, Tennessee. / AFP / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)

The optimism of American small business owners soared to the highest level on the records in August.

The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index jumped to 108.8 in August, setting a new record in the survey’s 45-year history. The previous record was set in July 1983.

“Today’s groundbreaking numbers are demonstrative of what I’m hearing every day from small business owners – that business is booming. As the tax and regulatory landscape changed, so did small business expectations and plans,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan.

Businesses are seeing better sales, with a net 10 percent reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months, up two points. August is the ninth consecutive strong month of reported sales gains after years of low or negative numbers, according to the NFIB.

The net percent of business owners planning to build inventories rose six points to a record net 10 percent. Reports of positive profit trends rose to the second highest reading in the survey’s 45-year history.

“At the beginning of this historic run, Index gains were dominated by expectations: good time to expand, expected real sales, inventory satisfaction, expected credit conditions, and expected business conditions,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Now the Index is dominated by real business activity that makes GDP grow: job creation plans, job openings, strong capital spending plans, record inventory investment plans, and earnings. Small business is clearly helping to drive that four percent growth in the domestic economy.”

The share of small business owners saying it is a good time to expand tied the May 2018 all-time high.





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