Small Business Center
Things are looking … up? A 19-point jump in the August reading of the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index reflects an improved outlook and signals a decrease in concerns about inflation, though the problem persists.
The NFIB index hit 91.8 in August, up from 89.9 in July, but still short of the 48-year average reading of 98. While some first-half declines in sentiment are being reversed, overall confidence is still down, and inflation remains the biggest worry for 29% of small business owners. That’s a drop from 37% in July but indicates a high degree of uncertainty among owners. “The small business economy is still recovering from the pandemic while inflation continues to be a serious problem for owners across the nation,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg.
Other findings from the survey:
“Owners are managing the rising costs of utilities, fuel, labor, supplies, materials, rent and inventory to protect their earnings,” Dunkelberg said. “The worker shortage is impacting small business productivity as owners raise compensation to attract better workers.”
Read the detailed summary at NFIB.
By Will Swarts
Executive Editor, ICSC Small Business Center