- 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 January 10, 2017
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that its Small Business Optimism Index surged 7.5% during December (11.1% y/y) to 105.8. It was the strongest level of optimism since December 2004. During all of last year, the optimism index eased to 95.3 from 96.1 in 2015.
A strengthened 50% of firms reported they were expecting the economy to improve, the most since March 2002. Another area of strength was 31% of firms expected higher real sales in six months, up from 11% in November. Twenty-three percent of firms reported that now was a good time to expand the business, an eleven-year high.
On the labor front, a stronger 16% planned to increase employment. Potential employees seemed easier to come by, however, as a greatly lessened 44% of firms indicated they had few or no qualified candidates to fill job openings. Hiring difficulty caused an increased 26% percent of firms to raise worker compensation. A sharply higher 20% planned to raise worker compensation, the most since December.
Fully 29% of firms were planning to make capital outlays in the next 3-6 months, the most since August 2014. A strengthened 4% were raising inventories now.
On the price inflation front, a sharply increased 24% of businesses were planning to raise average selling prices, the most since 2008. An increased 6% of firms actually raised average selling prices last month, versus none in Q3'16.
A higher 21% of firms indicated that taxes were the single most important problem, and a higher 19% reported that government requirements were the largest single problem. A reduced 12% felt challenged by the quality of labor, while a stable 12% of firms indicated that poor sales were the largest single problem. A reduced 8% of firms reported insurance cost & availability as the largest hurdle. A higher 9% reported competition from large businesses as the largest problem, but a lessened 5% felt that cost of labor was their largest single problem. Inflation as the largest problem was indicated by a reduced 2% of respondents, the most in 6 months.
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 %)||Dec||Nov||Oct||Dec'15||2016||2015||2014|
|Small Business Optimism Index (1986=100)||105.8||98.4||94.9||95.2||95.3||96.1||95.6|
|Firms Expecting Economy To Improve||50||12||-7||-15||-5||-5||-5|
|Firms Expecting Higher Real Sales||31||11||1||7||5||8||11|
|Firms Reporting Now is a Good Time To Expand the Business (% of Firms)||23||11||9||8||10||12||10|
|Firms Planning to Increase Employment||16||15||10||15||11||12||10|
|Firms With Few or No Qualified Applicants For Job Openings||44||52||48||48||46||46||43|
|Firms Reporting That Credit Was Harder To Get||6||4||4||5||5||4||6|
|Firms Raising Average Selling Prices||6||5||2||-1||0||2||8|
|Firms Raising Worker Compensation||26||21||25||22||24||23||21|