Report: Small Business Outlook Strong

By: Lauren Mineau

Optimism surrounding the future of small business is increasing, according to a new report.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently released the Small Business Optimism Index, which showed optimism about the future of small business at the second highest level in the survey’s 45-year history. The record high hit in 1983 is just 0.2 points more at 108.0.

The index rose to 107.8, a three-point gain. Small businesses reported high numbers in several key areas including compensation, profits, and sales trends.

“Main Street optimism is on a stratospheric trajectory thanks to recent tax cuts and regulatory changes. For years, owners have continuously signaled that when taxes and regulations ease, earnings and employee compensation increase,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan.

The report hit numerous records including a 45-year high for compensation, positive earning and positive sales trends. Expansion plans are on the horizon for many businesses too.

Another interesting result was a net 19 percent of small business owners are planning price increases, which is often a symbol of a strong economy.

“Small business owners are continuing an 18-month streak of unprecedented optimism which is leading to more hiring and raising wages,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “While they continue to face challenges in hiring qualified workers, they now have more resources to commit to attracting candidates.”