Small Business Optimism Flat in May: NFIB
The report suggests job creation was very weak and finding qualified workers for open positions is a challenge for some owners.The mood among small business owners in the United States remains the same, with concerns over future sales, health-care costs and other factors weighing on positivity, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, whose Index of Small Business Optimism came in at 94.4historically low and a reflection of the sluggish pace of economic recovery in the United States. Though some indicators showed relative promise, such as profit trends and employment components, which remained stable, expected sales in a three-month period declined (far below readings recorded in any other recovery period since 1973), and the overall index dropped a tenth-of-a-point in May. Hiring and spending levels were weak, and 60 percent of the 681 small businesses surveyed said now is a bad time to expand their businesses. A quarter (25 percent) cited political uncertainty as the most influential factor, followed by a weak economy.
Worryingly, more owners still expect the economy to deteriorate further than those who anticipate improvement. One in five cited poor sales as the top challenge to their business, while only 7 percent (seasonally adjusted) characterized the current period as a good time to expand facilities. The report noted that between expectations of increasing economic deterioration and lethargic or flat growth, the outlook for new spending or new hiring is poor.