NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Increased 0.5 Points in January

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), one of the largest small business associations in the US, reported on Tuesday (2-14-23) its NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (SBOI) for January 2023. According to the report, the January SBOI increased 0.5 points to a reading of 89.8, marking the thirteenth consecutive month that the SBOI has been below the 49-year average reading of 98.

Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months improved by 6 points from December to a net negative 45%. Inflations remains the single most important problem with 26% of owners reporting it as their top problem in operating their business.

Other highlights of the SBOI include:

  • Forty-five percent of business owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, up four points from December, remaining historically high.
  • The net percentage of owners raising average selling prices decreased one point to a net 42% seasonally adjusted, too high for a 2% target.
  • The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher worsened four points from December to a net negative 14%.

Adding additional background and his insight to the release of the January SBOI, NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said:

“While inflation is starting to ease for small businesses, owners remain cynical about future business conditions. Owners have a negative outlook on the small business economy but continue to try to fill open positions and return to a full staff to improve productivity.”

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