Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NFIB: Small business owner confidence still shaky

After months of fiscal-cliff melee, small business owners' confidence has yet to rebound, according to the latest data from the National Federation of Independent Business. 

Results of the NFIB's Small Business Optimism Index, released Tuesday, showed that while owner optimism in December improved 0.5 points from November's historically low report,  the 88-point reading was still the second-lowest since March 2010, the survey said. 

 December’s poor report resulted largely from a "deterioriating" job market, and the percentage of owners who still expect business conditions to worsen in the next six months, the NFIB report says.

Index Components
Courtesy of NFIB
 The Index is at a recession-level reading as pessimism prevails, and December’s reading is "certainly not typical during a recovery," the NFIB says. 

The December survey is based on the responses of 648 randomly sampled small businesses that are part of the NFIB.

Other findings from the survey: 

Read more here: http://shoptalkclt.blogspot.com/2012/12/nfib-small-business-owners-confidence.html#storylink=cpy
-Seventy percent of owners said the current period was a bad time to expand, one in four citing political uncertainty as the top reason. 

-The top business problems are: taxes (23 percent), regulations (21 percent)and poor sales (19 percent).

-Job creation in December was essentially zero, improving infinitesimally from the November report. The average change in employment per firm increased to 0.03, up from -0.04 workers. Seventy-six percent of owners made no net change in employment. 

"Congress played chicken right up to the end of the year, leaving small-business owners with no new information about the economy's future," said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg, in an emailed statement. "The eleventh hour 'deal' has brought marginal certainty about tax rates and extenders and will provide some relief to owners, but it certainly doesn't guarantee a more positive forecast for the economy." 

Download the complete survey here.


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