Small business optimism increases as now 6% of small businesses plan to expand
The NFIB small business optimism index edged higher to 89.0 in September from 88.8 in August. The net percentage of small firms planning to expand improved to 6% from 4%.
The employment components of the survey weakened as the net percentage of small firms planning to hire fell to -3% in September from +1% in August, while 11% of firms reported an available job opening (unchanged from August).
The two tier economy of large and small business conditions continues to persist. The second consecutive slight monthly increase in small business sentiment does nothing to change the picture of small business confidence mired at recessionary levels and being extremely cautious about expanding operations. Few companies have job openings and even fewer are planning to hire. Financial conditions and interest rates are not seen as a significant obstacle for most small companies, who continue to view the state of demand, taxation, and government regulation as the most important problems that they face.