NFIB Small Business Survey: "Small Business Optimism Remains Historically High..."

The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for June came in at 107.2, down 0.6 from the previous month. The index is at the 99th percentile in this series. Today's number came in above the Investing.com forecast of 105.6.

Here is an excerpt from the opening summary of the news release.

The Small Business Optimism Index posted its sixth highest reading in survey history for the month of June, at 107.2, down 0.6 from May. Since December 2016, the Index has averaged an unprecedented 105.4, well above the 45-year average of 98 and rivaling the all-time high of 108.0 in July 1983.

“Small business owners continue to report astounding optimism as they celebrate strong sales, the creation of jobs, and more profits,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “The first six months of the year have been very good to small business thanks to tax cuts, regulatory reform, and policies that help them grow.”

The first chart below highlights the 1986 baseline level of 100 and includes some labels to help us visualize that dramatic change in small-business sentiment that accompanied the Great Financial Crisis. Compare, for example, the relative resilience of the index during the 2000-2003 collapse of the Tech Bubble with the far weaker readings following the Great Recession that ended in June 2009.

NFIB Optimism Index

Here is a closer look at the indicator since the turn of the century. We are just below the post-recession high.

NFIB Optimism Index Since 2000

The average monthly change in this indicator is 3.0 points. To smooth out the noise of volatility, here is a 3-month moving average of the Optimism Index along with the monthly values, shown as dots.

NFIB Optimism Index Moving Average