NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index Moves Lower in October

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), one of the largest small business associations in the U.S., reported today (11-9-21) that their NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped -0.9 points to a reading of 98.2 in October. The NFIB Uncertainty Index dropped -7 points to a reading of 67, the lowest level since January 2016.

In a statement prepared for the release of the August Index, NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said, “Small business owners are attempting to take advantage of current economic growth but remain pessimistic about business conditions in the near future. One of the biggest problems for small businesses is the lack of workers for unfilled positions and inventory shortages, which will continue to be a problem during the holiday season.”

Other key findings from the Index include owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months fell -4-points to a net negative of 37%. This indicator has declined 17-points over the past three months to its lowest reading since November 2012.

Forty-nine percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled — a decrease of -2 points from September.

A net 44% of owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting raising compensation, a 48-year record high. A net 32% plan to raise compensation in the next 3-months.

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