- China: Industrial Profits (Mar); Philippines: Tourist Arrivals (Feb); Korea: GDP (Q1)
- New Zealand: Tourism Expenditure, International Reserves, RBNZ Analytical Accounts and Statistical Balance Sheet (Mar); Australia: Import and Export Price Indexes (Q1)
- Japan: Input Output Prices, International Trade, Lease Contracts (Mar), First 10 Days Trade (Apr)
- France: INSEE Household Survey (Apr), Registered Unemployed & Job
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Gasoline Prices Are Little-Changed; Crude Oil Falls
Regular gasoline prices of $2.45 per gallon last week (13.3% y/y)...
Japan's METI Indexes Show Ongoing Gains
The services sector is assessed by the METI indexes where it is named the 'tertiary sector.' That sector index rose to 104.1 in February...
U.S. New Home Sales & Prices Strengthen
Sales of new single-family homes increased 5.8% (15.6% y/y) during March to 621,000...
U.S. Consumer Confidence Backpedals
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index fell 3.7% during April (+27.0% y/y) to 120.3...
U.S. FHFA House Price Index Regains Strength
The FHFA U.S. house prices increased 0.8% during February (6.5% y/y)...
French Manufacturing and Service Sectors Weaken But Stay on Trend or Hold Recent Gains
The French manufacturing sector trend index is down to 1 in April from 3 in March...
by Tom Moeller February 9, 2016
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index declined 1.4% during January to 93.9 following a 0.7% December rise. The index was 6.4% below its peak of 100.4 in December 2014. According to the NFIB, the January level remained below the 42-year average of 98.
The percentage of firms expecting the economy to improve fell sharply to -21, the lowest point since November 2013. The net percentage of firms expecting higher real sales in six months deteriorated to 3, but that was improved from -1 in November. As for business activity, 10% of firms reported that now was a good time to expand the business, near the low end of the range of the last 18 months.
A lessened 11% a firms expected to increase employment and 45% of respondents found few or no qualified candidates to fill job openings, the least since September. Twenty-nine percent of firms had positions they were not able to fill right now, up from 9% in 2009. A greatly increased net 27% of firms raised worker compensation over the last twelve months, but a greatly sharply lower 16% were expecting to raise it in the next three months, the least since August.
Small businesses ability to improve pricing remained under pressure. Four percent of firms were lowering prices, down from 12% raising them in July of 2014. Expectations about the ability to raise prices also deteriorated. Sixteen percent of firms were planning to raise prices, the least in three months.
Credit was more difficult to get as 5% reported trouble, up from 3% at the low. Thirty five percent of firms felt satisfied that their borrowing needs had been filled in the last three months. That equaled the expansion high.
A reduced 21% of firms indicated that taxes were the single most important problem while a greatly lessened 18% reported government requirements were the largest single problem. A stable 15% felt challenged by the quality of labor. Eight percent reported insurance cost and availability as the largest problem, but a higher 12% indicated poor sales as their biggest problem. An increased 9 percent reported competition from large businesses as the largest problem. A steady 5% reported the cost of labor was a big problem. It's been near that level since early in 2013 and inflation was indicated by only 2%, remaining nearly the least since 2003.
Roughly 24 million small businesses exist in the U.S. and they create 80% of all new jobs. The typical NFIB member employs 10 people and reports gross sales of about $500,000 a year. The NFIB figures can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.
|National Federation of Independent Business (SA, Net %)||Jan||Dec||Nov||Jan'15||2015||2014||2013|
|Small Business Optimism Index (1986=100)||93.9||95.2||94.5||97.7||96.1||95.6||92.4|
|Firms Reporting Now is a Good Time To Expand the Business||10||8||12||13||11||10||7|
|Firms Expecting Higher Real Sales In Six Months||3||7||-1||14||8||11||4|
|Firms Expecting Economy To Improve||-21||-15||-10||0||-5||-5||-15|
|Firms Planning to Increase Employment||11||15||11||13||12||10||6|
|Firms With Few or No Qualified Applicants For Job Openings||45||48||47||42||46||43||39|
|Firms Reporting That Credit Was Harder To Get||5||5||4||4||4||6||6|
|Firms Raising Average Selling Prices||-4||-1||4||6||2||8||2|