Small Business Optimism Remains Low, Says Report
Thirty-seven percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business, an increase of three points from June and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 1979, according to the latest Small Business Optimism Index from the NFIB. Though the index rose 0.4 points in July to 89.9, it marks the sixth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Read the full report here.
“The uncertainty in the small business sector is climbing again as owners continue to manage historic inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “As we move into the second half of 2022, owners will continue to manage their businesses into a very uncertain future.”
Key findings from the report:
- Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased nine points from June’s record low level to a net-negative 52%. Expectations for better business conditions have deteriorated every month from January to June of this year.
- Forty-nine percent of owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down one point from June but historically very high.
- Seasonally adjusted, a net 37% plan price hikes, down 12 points.
- The net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased seven points to a net 56% (seasonally adjusted). The decline is significant but the net percent still raising prices is inflationary.
- The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher decreased one point from June to a net negative 29%.
- The Uncertainty Index increased 12 points from last month to 67.
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