NFIB Small Business Survey: Expectations for Better Business Conditions Remain Low

This article was written by Doug Short in its original format. From 2016-2022, it was improved upon and updated by Jill Mislinski. Starting in January 2023, AP Charts pages will be maintained by Jennifer Nash at Advisor Perspectives/VettaFi.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index is a composite of ten components and is meant to provide an indication of of the overall health of small businesses in the country. The latest issue of the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends came out this morning. The headline number for February came in at 90.9, up 0.6 from the previous month, but still below the series average of 98.2. The index is at the 9th percentile in this series.

Here is an excerpt from the opening summary of the news release and a snapshot of the components month-over-month performance.

“Small business owners remain doubtful that business conditions will get better in the coming months,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “They continue to struggle with historic inflation and labor shortages that are holding back growth. Despite their economic challenges, owners are working hard to create new jobs to strengthen the economy and their firms.”