Remember last month when we shared the report that the economic optimism of small business owners had reached a record high? Well, that record high has now been broken. Optimism among U.S. small businesses rose more than forecast in January, fueled by a record number of owners who said now is a good time to expand, according to NFIB’s (National Federation of Independent Business) monthly survey of small business economic trends released today (2.13.2018)

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index
Based on Ten Survey Indicators
(Seasonally Adjusted 1986=100)

106.9 | January’s optimism index set a record high of 106.9 on NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends Survey. In the survey, a record number of small business owners said, “now is a good time to expand.”

“Six of the 10 components that make up the index increased in January, producing one of the strongest readings in the 45-year history of the survey,” according to the NFIB Research Center’s Holly Wade.

“The historically high index readings over the last year tell us small business owners have never been more positive about the economy. This is in large response to Washington tackling the biggest concerns of small business owners – high taxes and regulations,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

Highlights of the January survey

32% | Respondents who believe its a good time to expand (highest level ever in the history of the NFIB survey, which began in 1973.
+11 points | Actual earnings climbed up 11 points from December, the highest level reported since 1988.
+2 points | Plans to make capital outlays jumped up two points.
+4 points | Plans to increase inventories gained four points.
24% | Businesses that plan to raise compensation, the highest reading since 1989.
41% | Expect the economy to improve, up from 37% a month earlier.
34% | Reported job openings in January (up from 31 percent in December.
11% | Share of owners raising average selling prices (highest since July 2014).

Annual Small Business Optimism Index Hits Record High in 2017

photo | Mac99 | istock

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