Small Business Optimism Drops in December

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 5.5 points in December, measuring 95.9. Many respondents reported increased uncertainty surrounding  the increased spread of COVID-19 cases that is leading to new government mandated business closures and economic policy in the new presidential administration.

A seasonally adjusted net 17.0% of owners plan to create new jobs, down 4 points. The percent of owners thinking it’s a good time to expand decreased to 8.0%. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 2 point from November’s number.

A net 2.0% of all owners reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down 7 point from November. The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes decreased 14 points to a net  -4.0%.

Three percent of owners reported in that their borrowing needs were not fully satisfied. Twenty-six percent reported all credit needs met (up 1 point) and 60.0% said they were not interested in a loan (up 2 points). A net 3.0% reported their last loan was harder to get than in previous attempts (up 1 point).

Read the NFIB report.