NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index Increases Slightly in December

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), one of the largest small business associations in the U.S., reported today (1-11-22) that their NFIB Small Business Optimism Index increased slightly in December to a reading of 98.9, up 0.5 points from the November reading of 98.4. Seven of the 10 Index components improved and three declined.

Twenty-two percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem encountered in operating their business, with price increases reaching levels not seen since the early 1980’s when prices were rising at double digit rates.

Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased 3 points to a net negative 35 percent. Owners remain pessimistic about future economic conditions as this indicator has declined 23 points over the past six months. Forty-nine percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of 1 point from November.

In a statement prepared for the release of the December Index, NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Small businesses unfortunately saw a disappointing December jobs report, with staffing issuing continuing to impact their ability to be fully productive. Inflation is at the highest level since the 1980’s and is having an overwhelming impact on owners’ ability to manage their businesses.”

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Original Source:
December 2021 Report: Small Business Owners Reporting Inflation as Biggest Problem Highest Since 1981