Attendees cheer during a keynote session in San Francisco, California, U.S. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)  

Optimism Among U.S. Small Businesses Jumps to Highest Since 1983

(Bloomberg) -- Optimism among small companies in the U.S. advanced last month to the highest level in more than 34 years as owners became more upbeat about future economic conditions and sales prospects, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.

Highlights of Small-Business Optimism (November)

  • Index rose by 3.7 points to 107.5 (est. 104), highest in monthly data back to 1986; highest since 3Q 1983 when looking at earlier quarterly figures
  • Net 48% expect better business conditions in next six months, biggest share since January and up from 32% a month earlier
  • Net 34% expect higher sales, largest share since Oct. 2005 and up from 21% in Sept.

Key Takeaways

The small-business optimism index showed all but two of the 10 components increased from a month earlier, including a record net 24 percent share of small-business owners who said they plan to add jobs. Construction, manufacturing and professional services registered notable increases in planned hiring. The figures indicate the recent solid pace of job growth will be sustained and help extend the economic expansion.

Other Details

  • Share of NFIB respondents who say it’s a good time to expand rose to 27 percent from 23 percent
  • Plans to add to inventories rose to a net 7 percent from 4 percent
  • NFIB survey of member firms through Nov. 30 based on 544 respondents

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