- US: Advance Trade & Inventories (Feb)
- Sweden: Retail Trade, PPI, International Trade (Feb); Iceland: CPI (Mar)
- Turkey: International Reserves (Feb); Mauritius: Wage Rate Index, LFS (Q4); Saudi Arabia: Non-Oil Foreign Trade (Jan); Palestine: BOP (Q4); UAE: Fuel Prices (Apr); Israel: Construction Starts & Completions (Q4); South Africa: Construction Survey (Q1); Tanzania: Trade (Q4)
- Brazil: PPI (Feb)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
Texas Factory Sector Activity Remains Strong
The Dallas Fed indicated in its Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey that the General Business Activity Index eased during March...
EMU Money and Credit Growth Are Less Than Impressive Than Euro-PMIs
EMU nominal money supply growth is slightly higher over three months, but credit growth in the EMU is slower...
Durable Goods Orders Strengthened by Another Jump in Aircraft
New orders for durable goods rose 1.7% (5.0% y/y) during February...
Correction to Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims
The Department of Labor has issued a correction to yesterday's annual revision to seasonally adjusted weekly unemployment claims...
EMU PMIs Are Off to the Races...Farewell Mediocrity?
The PMI rankings for the manufacturing and service sector PMIs in the EMU are suddenly off the chart...
U.S. New Home Sales Improve While Prices Decline
Sales of new single-family homes increased 6.1% (12.8% y/y) during February to 592,000 units (AR)...
by Tom Moeller March 8, 2016
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index declined 1.1% during February to 92.9 following a 1.4% January fall. It was the lowest level since February 2014. According to the NFIB, the February level remained below the 42-year average of 98.
The percentage of firms expecting higher real sales in six months fell sharply to zero. As for business activity, 8% of firms reported that now was a good time to expand the business, equaling the June 2014 low. The percentage of firms expecting the economy to improve held at -21, down from +12 in December 2014.
A lessened 10% of firms expected to increase employment and a 42% of respondents found few or no qualified candidates to fill job openings, the least since March 2015. Twenty-eight percent of firms had positions they were not able to fill right now, up from 9% in 2009. A lessened net 22% of firms raised worker compensation over the last twelve months, and a sharply lower 12% 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; twelve percent were raising them in July of 2014. Expectations about the ability to raise prices also deteriorated. A lessened 14% of firms were planning to raise prices, a five-month low.
Credit was more difficult to get as 5% reported trouble, up from 3% at the low. A sharply lower 31% percent of firms felt satisfied that their borrowing needs had been filled in the last three months.
A reduced 21% of firms indicated that taxes were the single most important problem while 19% reported government requirements were the largest single problem. A lessened 12% felt challenged by the quality of labor. An increased 10% reported insurance cost & availability as the largest problem, but a fairly steady 11% indicated poor sales as their biggest problem. An easier 8 percent reported competition from large businesses as the largest problem. A greatly increased 7% reported the cost of labor was the biggest problem, and inflation was indicated by a slightly higher 3% of respondents.
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.
Reflections on Macroeconomics Then and Now is the title of Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer's speech and it can be found here.
|National Federation of Independent Business (SA, Net %)||Feb||Jan||Dec||Feb'15||2015||2014||2013|
|Small Business Optimism Index (1986=100)||92.9||93.9||95.2||98.2||96.1||95.6||92.4|
|Firms Reporting Now is a Good Time To Expand the Business||8||10||8||13||11||10||7|
|Firms Expecting Higher Real Sales In Six Months||0||3||7||14||8||11||4|
|Firms Expecting Economy To Improve||-21||-21||-15||2||-5||-5||-15|
|Firms Planning to Increase Employment||10||11||15||12||12||10||6|
|Firms With Few or No Qualified Applicants For Job Openings||42||45||48||47||46||43||39|
|Firms Reporting That Credit Was Harder To Get||5||5||5||3||4||6||6|
|Firms Raising Average Selling Prices||-4||-4||-1||3||2||8||2|