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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2024

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for April 2024:

===============

Import Prices
Previous Reading: +0.6% (revised)
Actual: +0.9%

Change From 12 Months Previous: +1.1%

===============

Export Prices
Previous Reading: +0.1% (revised)
Actual: +0.5%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -1.0%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

=================


CHART: Import Price Index - April 2024 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
April 2024 Update

================= 

CHART: Export Price Index - April 2024 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
April 2024 Update

===
============


===============

 

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2024

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for January 2024:

===============

Import Prices
Previous Reading: -0.7% (revised)
Actual: +0.8%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -1.3%

===============

Export Prices
Previous Reading: -0.7% (revised)
Actual: +0.8%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -2.4%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

=================

 CHART: Import Price Index - January 2024 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
January 2024 Update

================= 

CHART: Export Price Index - January 2024 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
 January 2024 Update

===
============


===============

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Friday, September 15, 2023

Import and Export Price Indexes for August 2023

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for August 2023:

===============

Import Prices
Previous Reading:+0.1% (revised)
Actual: +0.5%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -3.0%

===============

Export Prices
Previous Reading: +0.5% (revised)
Actual: +1.3%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -5.5%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

=================

 CHART: Import Price Index - August 2023 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
August 2023 Update

================= 

CHART: Export Price Index - August 2023 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
 August 2023 Update

===
============


===============

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Friday, August 18, 2023

Import and Export Price Indexes for July 2023

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for July 2023:

===============

Import Prices
Previous Reading:-0.1% (revised)
Actual: +0.4%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -4.4%

===============

Export Prices
Previous Reading: -0.7% (revised)
Actual: +0.7%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -7.9%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

=================

 CHART: Import Price Index  July 2023 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
 July 2023 Update

================= 

HART: Export Price Index  July 2023 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
 July 2023 Update

===
============


===============

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Saturday, July 15, 2023

Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2023

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its report on U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes for June 2023:

===============

Import Prices
Previous Reading:-0.4% (revised)
Actual: -0.2%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -6.1%

===============

Export Prices
Previous Reading: -1.9%
Actual: -0.9%

Change From 12 Months Previous: -12.0%

===============
 
The above percentages, highlighted in yellow, represent the month-to-month change in prices for:

  • Imports: the cost of goods produced in other countries and sold in the United States.
  • Exports: the cost of goods produced in the USA and sold in other countries.


Together, these indexes offer insight into the status of inflation in the United States, and for the global economy as well. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

=================

 CHART: Import Price Index - June 2023 Update

CHART: Import Price Index
 June 2023 Update

================= 

CHART: Export Price Index - June 2023 Update

CHART: Export Price Index
 June 2023 Update

===
============


===============

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for June 2023

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for June 2023:

=========

Predicted: 90.0
Actual: 91.0

  • Change from Previous Month: +1.79% (+1.6 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +1.68% (+1.5 points.)


=========

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - June 2023 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
June 2023 Update 

=========
 

From Today's Report:

"...'Halfway through the year, small business owners remain very pessimistic about future business conditions and their sales prospects, said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Inflation and labor shortages continue to be great challenges for small businesses. Owners are still raising selling prices at an inflationary level to try to pass on higher inventory, labor, and energy costs.'...'

Key Findings Include:

    -- Forty-two percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, down two points from May but remaining historically very high.


    -- Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months improved 10 points from May to a net negative 40%, 21 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61%.

    -- The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher improved seven points from May to a net negative 14%.
.."

=========

  • The baseline "100" score is associated with 1986 survey data.
=========

The previous month's Small Business Optimism Index was 89.4.

=========

 
=========

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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for April 2022

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for April 2022:

=========

Predicted: 94.0
Actual: 93.2

  • Change from Previous Month: UNCHANGED
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -6.613% (-6.6 points.)


=========

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - April 2022 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
April 2022 Update 
=========
 
CHART: NFIB Small Business Earnings Last 3 Months - April 2022 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Earnings
Last 3 Months
April 2022 Update
=========

From Today's Report:

"...The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was unchanged in April, remaining at 93.2 and the fourth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased one point to a net negative 50%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year-old survey.

Inflation continues to be a problem for small businesses with 32% of small business owners reporting it’s their single most important problem in operating their business, the highest reading since the fourth quarter of 1980.

'Small business owners are struggling to deal with inflation pressures,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'The labor supply is not responding strongly to small businesses’ high wage offers and the impact of inflation has significantly disrupted business operations.'


Key Findings Include:

    -- Forty-seven percent of owners reported
job openings that could not be filled, unchanged from March.

    -- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased two points to a net 70% (seasonally adjusted), two points below last month’s highest reading.

    -- The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher increased six points from March to a net negative 12%.

As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, small businesses continue to struggle to find workers to fill open positions with 47% (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 93% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill..."


=========

  • 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 93.2.

=========

 
=========

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Tuesday, March 08, 2022

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for February 2022

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for February 2022:

=========

Predicted: 97.0
Actual: 95.7

  • Change from Previous Month: -1.442% (-1.4 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -0.104% (-0.1 point.)


=========

 
CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - February 2022 Update

 CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
February 2022 Update
 
=========
 
CHART: NFIB Small Business Earnings, Last 3 Months - February 2022 Update

 CHART: NFIB Small Business Earnings
Last 3 Months
February 2022 Update
 
=========

From Today's Report:

"...The In February, the NFIB Optimism Index decreased by 1.4 points to 95.7, the second consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Twenty-six percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, a four-point increase since December and the highest reading since the third quarter of 1981.

'Inflation continues to be a problem on Main Street, leading more owners to raise selling prices again in February,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Supply chain disruptions and labor shortages also remain problems, leading to lower earnings and sales for many.'

Price raising activity over the past 12 months has continued to escalate, reaching levels not seen since the early 1980s when prices were rising at double-digit rates. Unadjusted, 4% of owners reported lower average selling prices and 68% reported higher average prices. Price hikes were the most frequent in retail (79% higher, 4% lower), wholesale (77% higher, 4% lower), construction (73% higher, 3% lower), and manufacturing (72% higher, 6% lower). Seasonally adjusted, a net 46% of owners plan price hikes.

As reported last week in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 48% of all owners reported
job openings they could not fill in the current period. Ninety-three percent of owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for their open positions.

Key Findings Include:

-- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased seven points to a net 68% (seasonally adjusted), a 48-year record high reading.

-- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased two points to a net negative 35%.

-- Forty-eight percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of one point from January.

-- Inventory accumulation plans fell one percentage point, following a five-point decline in January, following the massive inventory build in Q4.
.."

=========

  • 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 97.1.

=========

 
=========


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Tuesday, February 08, 2022

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January 2022

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index for January 2022:

=========

Predicted: 97.0
Actual: 97.1

  • Change from Previous Month: -1.82% (-1.8 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +2.211% (+2.1 points.)


=========

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - January 2022 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
January 2022 Update

=========

From Today's Report:

"...'More small business owners started the New Year raising prices in an attempt to pass on higher inventory, supplies, and labor costs,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'In addition to inflation issues, owners are also raising compensation at record high rates to attract qualified employees to their open positions.'

==========

The Optimism Index decreased slightly in January by 1.8 points to 97.1. One of the 10 Index components improved, seven declined and two were unchanged. Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem. Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased 2 points to a net negative 33 percent. Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, decrease of 2 points from December. Inventory accumulation plans fell 5 percentage points. A 48-year record high percent of owners reported raising worker compensation. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased 4 points to a net 61 percent seasonally adjusted, the highest reading since Q4 1974.


Key Findings Include:

-- One of the Index components improved, seven declined, and two were unchanged.

-- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased two points to a net negative 33%. Small business owners remain pessimistic about future economic conditions as this indicator has declined 13 points over the past six months.

-- Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of two points from December.

-- Inventory accumulation plans fell five percentage points..."

=========

  • 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 98.9.

=========

 
=========


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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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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for November 2021

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

=========

Predicted: 98.5
Actual: 98.4

  • Change from Previous Month: +0.204% (+0.2 point.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -2.959% (-3.0 points.)


=========


CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - November 2021 Update

CHART: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
November 2021 Update

=========

From today's report:

"...'As the end of the year nears, the outlook for business conditions is not encouraging to small business owners as lawmakers propose additional mandates and tax increases,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Owners are also pessimistic as many continue managing challenges like rampant inflation and supply chain disruptions that are impacting their businesses right now.'..."

-- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased one point to a net negative 38%, tied for the 48-year record low reading. This indicator has declined 18 points over the past four months to its lowest reading since November 2012.

-- The net percent of owners raising selling prices increased six points to a net 59% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading since October 1979.

-- Seasonally adjusted, a net 54% of owners plan price hikes, up three points from October and a 48-year record high reading.

-- Forty-eight percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of one point from October.

=========

  • 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 98.2.

=========

 
=========

 

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for July 2021

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

=========

Predicted: 102.0
Actual: 99.7

  • Change from Previous Month: -2.732% (-2.8 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +0.911% (+0.9 point.)


=========

 
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - July 2021 Update

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
July 2021 Update

=========

From today's report:

"...'Small business owners are losing confidence in the strength of the economy and expect a slowdown in job creation,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'As owners look for qualified workers, they are also reporting that supply chain disruptions are having an impact on their businesses. Ultimately, owners could sell more if they could acquire more supplies and inventories from their supply chains.'..."


 =========

  • 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 102.5.

=========

 
=========

 

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Wednesday, June 09, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for May 2021

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

=========

Predicted: 100.0
Actual: 99.6

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.2004% (-0.2 point.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +5.508% (+5.2 points.)

=========
=========

From today's report:

"...'Small business owners are struggling at record levels trying to get workers back in open positions,' said NFIB Chief Economist  Bill Dunkelberg. 'Owners are offering higher wages to try to remedy the labor shortage problem. Ultimately, higher labor costs are being passed on to customers in higher selling prices.'..."

 "...Sixty-one percent of owners reporting hiring or trying to hire in May. Owners have plans to fill open positions with a seasonally adjusted net 27% planning to create new jobs in the next three months.

A net 34% of owners (seasonally adjusted) reported raising compensation, the highest level in the past 12 months. A net 22% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up two points from April.

Small business owners continue to report finding qualified employees remains a problem with 93% of owners hiring or trying to hire reported few or no 'qualified' applications for the positions they were trying to fill in May. Thirty-two percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their positions and 25% reported none.

Eight percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem and 26% said that labor quality was their top business problem, the top business concern.

Forty percent of small business owners have job openings for skilled workers and 27% have openings for unskilled labor. In the construction industry, 51% of job openings are for skilled workers. Sixty-six percent of construction businesses reported few or no qualified applicants..."


 =========

  • 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 99.8.

=========

 
=========


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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for March 2021

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

=========

Predicted: 100.0
Actual: 98.2

  • Change from Previous Month: +2.505% (+2.4 points.)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +1.867% (+1.8 points.)

=========

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - March 2021 Update
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
March 2021 Update

=========

From today's report:


"...Small Business Owners Struggle To Find Qualified Workers

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 2.4 points in March to 98.2. March’s reading is the first return to the average historical reading since last November. The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased six points to 81, which was primarily driven by owners being more uncertain about whether it is a good time to expand their business and make capital expenditures in the coming months.

 'Main Street is doing better as state and local restrictions are eased, but finding qualified labor is a critical issue for small businesses nationwide, ' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.  'Small business owners are competing with the pandemic and increased unemployment benefits that are keeping some workers out of the labor force. However, owners remain determined to hire workers and grow their business. '

Other key findings include:

  ---  Seven of the 10 Index components improved and three declined.

  ---  Sales expectations over the next three months improved eight points to a net 0% of owners, a historically low level.

  ---  Earnings trends over the past three months declined four points to a net negative 15%.

As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 42% of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a record high reading. Owners continue to have difficulty finding qualified workers to fill jobs as they compete with increased unemployment benefits and the pandemic keeping some workers out of the labor force.

A net 28% of owners reported raising compensation (up three points) and the highest level in the past 12 months. A net 17% plan to raise compensation in the next three months, down two points.

Seven percent of owners cited labor costs as their top business problem and 24% said that labor quality was their top business problem. Finding eligible workers to fill open positions will become increasingly difficult for small business owners.

Fifty-nine percent of owners reported capital outlays in the next six months, up two points from February. Of those making expenditures, 41% reported spending on new equipment, 26% acquired vehicles, and 14% improved or expanded facilities. Six percent acquired new buildings or land for expansion and 11% spent money for new fixtures and furniture.

Twenty percent of owners plan capital outlays in the next few months, down three points from February. Owners are not planning on investing in their businesses as expected future sales and business conditions remain below average.

A net negative 6% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down eight points from February. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes improved eight points to a net negative 0%..."

 =========

  • 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 95.8.

=========

 
=========

 

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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for February 2021

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

=========

Predicted: 95.0
Actual: 95.8

=========

  • Change from Previous Month: +0.842% (+ 0.8 point)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -8.325% (-8.7 points)

=========

  • The January 2021 SBOI reading was 95.0

  • The February 2020 SBOI reading was 104.5


=========

 

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for February 2021
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
February 2021 Update

=========

From Today's Report:


"...'Small business owners worked hard in February to overcome unexpected weather conditions along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,' said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. 'Capital spending has been strong, but not on Main Street. The economic recovery remains uneven for small businesses, especially those still managing state and local regulations and restrictions. Congress and the Biden administration must keep small businesses a priority as they plan future policy legislation.'..."

 =========

  • 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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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for March 2020

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for March 2020:

=========

Predicted: 95.0
Actual: 96.4

=========

  • Change from Previous Month: -7.751% (-8.1 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -5.305% (-5.4 points)

=========

  • The February 2020 SBOI reading was 104.5

  • The March 2019 SBOI reading was 101.8

=========

Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index - March 2020 Update
Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
March 2020 Update

=========

From Today's Report:


"...Abrupt Turn in Small Business Optimism Ends 39-Month Historic Run

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 8.1 points in March to 96.4, the largest monthly decline in the survey’s history. Nine of the 10 Index components declined, which is evidence that economic disruptions are escalating on Main Street as small businesses struggle to keep their doors open. The small business sector is anticipating and bracing for continued economic disruptions going forward.

'Small businesses are living through the coronavirus pandemic right now and it’s hard to say what the severity of the disruption will be, but we do know they’re feeling the urgency,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'It is vital that these businesses have access to federal funds that are made available through the CARES Act to keep the doors open on Main Street.'

The financial markets saw substantial change in March, with the stock market indices losing 22% of their value and jobless claims rising to a record 10 million in the last two weeks of the month. The NFIB survey collected the majority of responses in the first half of the month, so the sharp decline in employment is not reflected in the March survey data.

The Main Takeaways from the March Survey Include:
  • The NFIB Uncertainty Index rose 12 points in March to 92, the highest level since March 2017.

  • Reports of better business conditions in the next six months declined 17 points to a net 5%, which is the largest monthly decline since November 2012.
  • Real sales expectations in the next six months declined 31 points to a net negative 12%, the largest monthly decline in the survey’s history.

  • Thirteen percent of firms thought it was a good time to expand, a decline of 13 points from last month.
     
  • Job openings fell three points to 35%.
   
As reported in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the small business labor market reported strong hiring, elevated levels of open positions, and historically high employee compensation. However, hiring plans experienced a significant drop from February yet finding qualified workers remains the top issue for 24% of small employers who reported this as their No. 1 problem.

Down two points from February, 60% of owners reported capital outlays. Of those making expenditures, 43% reported spending on new equipment, 26% acquired vehicles, 16% improved or expanded facilities, 6% acquired new buildings or land for expansion, and 12% spend money for new fixtures and furniture. Twenty-one percent of owners are planning capital outlays in the next few months, a sign that small business owners are scaling back spending as economic conditions started to disrupt the nation.

Sales held strong in March, with a seasonally adjusted net 8% of all owners reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months. As actual sales volumes remained strong, expectations of the future of sales growth deteriorated significantly. It is clear owners felt the pending economic shift as state officials began to shut down non-essential businesses and issue stay-at-home orders in response to coronavirus.

A net negative three percent of owners are planning to expand inventory holdings. Small business owners are bracing themselves for a significant reduction in consumer spending and future orders.

The frequency of reports of positive profit trends fell two points to a net negative 6% reporting quarter-on-quarter profits. Among the owners reporting weaker profits, 32% blamed weaker sales, 26% blamed usual seasonal change, 9% cited price changes, 7% cited labor costs, and 7% cited material costs. For those reporting higher profits, 53% credited sales volumes and 22% credited usual seasonal change.

NFIB released surveys in March on how COVID-19 is impacting small businesses. The latest survey showed 92% of small employers are negatively impacted by the outbreak and about half of small employers said they can survive for no more than two months under the current business conditions..."


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  • 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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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for January 2020

The National Federation of Independent Business® (NFIB®) released its Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for January 2020:

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Predicted: 103.2
Actual: 104.3

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  • Change from Previous Month: +1.558% (+1.6 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: +3.063% (+3.1 points)

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  • The December 2019 SBOI reading was 102.7

  • The January 2019 SBOI reading was 101.2

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Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index January 2020 Update
Chart: NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
January 2020 Update
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From Today's Report:


"...'2020 is off to an explosive start for the small business economy, with owners expecting increased sales, earnings, and higher wages for employees,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'Small businesses continue to build on the solid foundation of supportive federal tax policies and a deregulatory environment that allows owners to put an increased focus on operating and growing their businesses.'..."

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  • 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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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index for November 2019

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

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Predicted: 102.9
Actual: 104.7

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  • Change from Previous Month: +2.246% (+2.3 points)
  • Change from 12 Months Previous: -0.095% (-0.1 point)

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  • The October 2019 SBOI reading was 102.4

  • The November 2018 SBOI reading was 104.8

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

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From Today's Report:


"...Small Business Optimism Sees Major Spike in November

Small business optimism posted the largest month-over-month gain since May 2018, rising 2.3 points to 104.7 in November. The exceptional Optimism Index reading was bolstered by seven of the 10 Index components advancing, led by a 10-point improvement in earnings. Owners reporting it is a good time to expand increased by 6 points and those expecting better business conditions increased by 3 points. The NFIB Uncertainty Index fell 6 points in November to 72, adding to the 4-point drop in October and the lowest reading since May 2018.

'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.'

Earnings, or the frequency that owners report positive profit trends, rose 10 points, 1 point below the record set in May 2018, to a net 2 percent reporting quarter on quarter profit improvements. Stronger profits negated some cost pressures (especially labor) limiting the need to raise prices. A net 12 percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, up 8 points and the highest level since May 2018.

'Owners are aggressively moving forward with their business plans, proving that when they’re given relief from the government, they put their money where their mouth is, and they invest, hire, and increase wages,' said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. 'Owners are most closely focused on issues that directly impact their business, including the real, significant tax relief they were given two years ago, and they’re anxious to see that relief made permanent.'

As reported last week in NFIB’s monthly jobs report, a net 30 percent of small business owners, seasonally adjusted, reported raising compensation (unchanged) and 26 percent plan to do so in the coming months, up 4 points and the highest level since December 1989. Job creation jumped in November, with an average addition of 0.29 workers per firm, the highest level since May. Finding qualified workers though remains the top issue for 26 percent reporting this as their number one problem, 1 point below August’s record high.

Owners raising average selling prices rose 2 points to a net 12 percent, seasonally adjusted. Price hikes were most frequent in the retail trades (7 percent lower, 24 higher) and construction (6 percent lower, 23 higher). On balance, inflationary pressures are weak on Main Street as confirmed by government inflation reports.

November reflects a stark departure from previous months of clatter months about a possible recession that dampened owners’ economic outlook. But the current focus and noise in Washington, D.C. around impeachment is proving to have little, if any, impact on small business owners, no different than during the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.
.."

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  • 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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