Small Business Optimism Rises, Historically Robust in January

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased to 104.3, a reading in the top 10% of all readings in the history of the survey. Twenty-eight percent of business owners surveyed said the next three months was a good time to expand, three points higher than last month’s reading.

New job creation jumped in January, with an average addition of 0.49 workers per firm, the highest level since March 2019, rebounding back into strong territory. Finding qualified workers remains the top issue for 26 percent reporting this as their number one problem, 1 point below August’s record high

Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting better business conditions declined one point to 15 percent. The percent of owners reporting higher sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months was a net seven percent, one point higher than August.

Credit concerns remained historically low, as just three percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, up one point. Thirty percent reported all credit needs were met, up one point, and 54 percent said they were not interested in a loan, down two points. Four percent reported their last loan was harder to get than the previous one, while only one percent reported that financing was their top business problem.

Read the NFIB report.

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