Small business sentiment in America
According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), small business optimism is stagnant, in fact, the headline of their report released this morning is “”Few Positive Signs for the Future, Little Change Likely Long-Term.”
Small businesses are considered by many to be the engine that keeps America moving forward, so although the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.7 points in August, the NFIB takes a guarded stance on the topic, as employment gains are considered to be contingent on the performance of small businesses.
This report follows a weak employment report which the NFIB referred to as “terrible,” and new reports from the U.S. Labor Department revealing that job openings fell to a seasonally adjusted 3.67 million, meaning in July, the latest month of data available, employers advertised fewer jobs available and weakness in hiring remains.
Why the negativity?
Is employment really enough to hold back optimism levels for small businesses across the nation? The NFIB report explains that “few employers continue to think the current period is a good time to expand. And, political uncertainty has reached a new record high for this business cycle, and small employers continue to act cautiously when it comes to growing their businesses.”
The report forecasts no dramatic improvement in optimism in the near future, but the entire nation is figuratively holding its breath as the election nears, waiting for what changes may or may not come their way.
“If election odds start changing,” notes the NFIB report, “owners (and consumers) may change their minds about spending, hiring and saving, but for now, expect little change in the current course of the economy.”
Is this the business apocalypse?
No. The recession has made business difficult for many, and a 24 hour news cycle has the nation on high alert regarding financial matters, but what the NFIB reports is that employment and hiring is weak, as is optimism, but the primary reason is that the world is waiting for voting results to make their next moves.