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Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for December 2021

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for December 2021:


Predicted: 98.8
Actual: 98.9

  • Change from Previous Month: +0.508% (+0.5 point.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +3.128% (+3.0 points.)


CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - December 2021 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
December 2021 Update


From today's report:

"...Small Business Owners Reporting Inflation as Biggest Problem Highest Since 1981

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in December to 98.9, up 0.5 points from November. Twenty-two percent of small business owners reported that
inflation was their single most important problem encountered in operating their business. Price raising activities has reached levels not seen since the early 1980’s when prices were rising at double digit rates.

'Small businesses unfortunately saw a disappointing December jobs report, with staffing issues continuing to impact their ability to be fully productive,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Inflation is at the highest level since the 1980’s and is having an overwhelming impact on owners’ ability to manage their businesses.'

Key Findings Include:

 --   22% report inflation as the single most important problem operating their business, a 20-point increase from the beginning of 2021 and the highest level since Q4 1981.

 --   Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased three points to a net negative 35%. Owners remain pessimistic about future economic conditions as this indicator has declined 23 points over the past six months.

 --   49% of owners reported
job openings that could not be filled, an increase of one point from November..."


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

The previous month's Small Business Optimism Index was 98.4.



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