Small Business Optimism Falls in January

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index declined 0.9 points in January, measuring 95.0, three points below the 47-year average of 98. Many respondents continued to report uncertainty caused by the pandemic, and many owners welcome any additional relief that can be provided by another stimulus package.

A seasonally adjusted net 17.0% of owners plan to create new jobs, unchanged from the previous month. The percent of owners thinking it’s a good time to expand was unchanged at 8.0%. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point from December’s number.

A net negative 7.0% of all owners reported higher nominal sales in the past three months, down 5 points from December The net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes decreased 2 points to a net negative 6.0%.

Two percent of owners reported in that their borrowing needs were not fully satisfied. Twenty-four percent reported all credit needs met (down 2 points) and 61.0% said they were not interested in a loan (up 1 point). A net 1.0% reported their last loan was harder to get than in previous attempts (down 2 points).

Read the NFIB report.