Small Business Optimism Index Maintains High in June

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell slightly to 107.2, 0.6 point below May’s record reading. This was the sixth highest reading in the index’s 45 year history and just below the record level (108.0) reached in 1983. Twenty-nine percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, five points lower than last month’s reading.

Reported job creation rose five points, as 63 percent of businesses reported hiring or trying to hire. However, 55 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-one percent of employers surveyed cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their top business problem. A seasonally adjusted net 20 percent of owners plan to create new jobs, up two points from last month.

Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting better business conditions decreased four points to 33 percent. The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months was a net 10 percent, down five points from May. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes fell five points to 26 percent of owners. Capital spending decreased three points as 59 percent of owners reported capital outlays. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months declined one point to 29 percent.

Credit concerns remained historically low, as just 3 percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not met, down one point from May. Only 2 percent of business owners surveyed reported that financing was their top business problem, while 16 percent of survey participants listed taxes as their top business problem.

Read the NFIB report.