U.S. Small Business Confidence Slips in August

small business owner optimism index nfib
Getty Images/Vetta
WASHINGTON -- U.S. small business optimism slipped in August as owners worried about the economy's near-term outlook, but gains in sales expectations and hiring plans hinted at a pick-up in the pace of economic growth.

The National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index dropped 0.1 point to 94 last month.

While details of the survey were fairly mixed, key indicators such as planned hiring, capital spending, inventory accumulation and sales all advanced in August, suggesting an improvement in sentiment in the months ahead.

"Capital spending and inventory investment plans increased as well, all activities that would put some energy into [gross domestic product] growth," the NFIB said in a statement.


That would fit in with expectations of an acceleration in activity in the second half of the year, though growth slowed somewhat early in the third quarter. The economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first half of the year.

There was a big increase in job creation plans, which jumped to levels last seen in January 2007, a positive sign for the labor market amid signs of a slowing in job growth trend. However, the share of firms reporting they could not find suitable candidates to fill open positions fell.

While owners were optimistic about sales, they were downbeat on earnings. Expectations for business conditions over the next six months fell again in August. There was also a decline in the share of owners saying this was a good time to expand.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

3 Comments

Filter by:
Rosalie Glanz

I use Barchart as my number one resource for all things related to the stock market, but I never imagined using end of day data for websites. Barchart now offers market data feeds that can easily be integrated onto websites so that users of said website can access high quality, reliable feeds for a wide array of markets. Check it out at www.barchartmarketdata.com.

September 11 2013 at 3:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Small businesses know that Obama is trying to destroy them.

September 10 2013 at 10:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to betty_brock's comment
gopisstupid2

We republicans already destroyed America.......The 2008 Great Economic Collapse.

September 10 2013 at 11:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply