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Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July 2019

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for July 2019:


Predicted: 103.0
Actual: 104.7

  • Change from Previous Month: +1.355% (+1.4 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -2.966% (-3.2 points)


  • The previous month's SBOI reading was 103.3

  • The July 2018 SBOI reading was 107.9


Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - July 2019 Update
Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - July 2019 Update


From Today's Report:

"...Optimism among small business owners bounced back in July as expectations for business conditions, real sales, and expansion made solid gains. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.4 points to 104.7, with seven of 10 components advancing, two falling, and one remaining unchanged. The Uncertainty Index fell 10 points, reversing a surge in June that reached the highest level since March 2017.

'While many are talking about a slowing economy and possible signs of a recession, the 3rd largest economy in the world continues to defy expectations, generating output, creating value, and expanding the economy,' said NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan. 'Small business owners want to grow their operations, and the only thing stopping them is finding qualified workers.'

In addition to improvement in expectations for business conditions, real sales, and expansion, key findings from the July index include:

  • Small business owners’ plans to create new jobs and make capital outlays advanced and earnings trends improved, supported by a solid improvement in sales trends.
  • Plans to order new inventories posted a solid gain.
  • After surging last month, reports of higher average selling prices stabilized, with no evidence of a pickup in inflation.
  • Credit conditions remain very supportive, interest rates on loans are historically low, and there are few complaints about credit availability.

'Contrary to the narrative about impending economic doom, the small business sector remains exceptional. This month’s index is a confirmation that small business owners remain very optimistic about the economy but are being hamstrung by not finding the workers they need,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg.


  • Small business survey questions can be found at the end of today's report.
  • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.


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