- Weekly: **Unemployment Initial Claims Data have been revised**
- US: Housing Starts by State and Region (Feb)
- CPB World Trade Monitor (Jan)
- CPB World Trade Monitor (Jan)
- France: Registered Unemployed & Job Vacancies (Feb)
- US: Household Employment for States and Regions (Feb)
- US: Wholesale Trade Revisions, Advance Durable Goods (Feb)
- Manufacturing Survey - Markit US (Flash - Mar), Composite Survey - US (Flash - Mar), Services Survey - US (Flash - Mar)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
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)...
Kansas City Federal Reserve Factory Index Strengthens; Expectations Surge
The Kansas City Fed reported that its index of regional manufacturing sector business activity increased to 20 during March...
U.S. Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Rise
Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased to 258,000 (-3.0% y/y) during the week ended March 18...
U.K. Retail Looks Less Bulletproof
For the most part, the assessments embodied in the March survey from the UK's CBI are being taken as being upbeat...
by Tom Moeller August 9, 2016
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index increased 0.1% during July to 94.6 following an unrevised 0.7% June rise. Despite the gain, optimism remained down 1.1% versus last July.
An improved -5% of firms were expecting the economy to improve, the best reading in twelve months. A lessened 1% were expecting higher real sales in six months. A reduced 25% were planning to raise capital expenditures. A steady eight percent reported that now was a good time to expand the business, but that was down from 15% in December 2014.
Employment prospects were mixed. Twelve percent of firms expected to increase employment, up slightly m/m. A lessened 46% of respondents found few or no qualified candidates to fill job openings while a reduced 26% of firms had positions they were not able to fill right now, equaling the most of the economic expansion. Twenty-four percent of firms raised worker compensation over the last three months, steady with the first half, while 15% were expecting to raise it in the next three months, steady with Q1.
Small businesses' pricing ability declined as 2% of firms were lowering prices, a reversal after increases in the last two months. Expectations about the future ability to raise prices also eased as 14 percent of firms planned to raise prices, the least since February.
Credit became slightly easier to get as a lessened 4% reported trouble, the least in six months. A lessened 30% of firms felt satisfied that their borrowing needs had been filled in the last three months.
An increased 22% reported that government requirements were the largest single problem. A lower 20% of firms indicated that taxes were the single most important problem, the least since November. A lower 14% felt challenged by the quality of labor, and an increased 12% of firms indicated that poor sales were the largest single problem. A higher eight percent reported insurance cost & availability as the largest hurdle, and a lower seven percent reported competition from large businesses as the largest problem, the least this year. A stable six percent reported the cost of labor was the biggest problem. Inflation was indicated by two percent of respondents as the largest problem, down from four percent in four percent in May.
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 %)||Jul||Jun||May||Jul'15||2015||2014||2013|
|Small Business Optimism Index (1986=100)||94.6||94.5||93.8||95.7||96.1||95.6||92.4|
|Firms Reporting Now is a Good Time To Expand the Business||8||8||9||12||11||10||7|
|Firms Expecting Higher Real Sales In Six Months||1||2||1||7||8||11||4|
|Firms Expecting Economy To Improve||-5||-9||-13||-3||-5||-5||-15|
|Firms Planning to Increase Employment||12||11||12||12||12||10||6|
|Firms With Few or No Qualified Applicants For Job Openings||46||48||48||48||46||43||39|
|Firms Reporting That Credit Was Harder To Get||4||5||4||4||4||6||6|
|Firms Raising Average Selling Prices||-2||2||1||3||2||8||2|