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Small business optimism continues to improve modestly according to the NFIB.  Their business optimism index rose 1.5 points in January though concerns remain.  In sum:

  • Capital spending was up over the last 6 months though only modestly.  Small businesses remain uncertain about the future and are hesitant to expand.
  • Some modest signs of inflation.
  • Revenues are improving.
  • Earnings are improving.

NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg elaborated on the report:

“Manufacturing and exporting are leading the recovery—industries and activities that are not labor intensive—while construction, an industry historically dominated by small firms, remains depressed. While recent political rhetoric favors small business, it is belied by the actions of policy makers whose new policies and activities almost exclusively support big businesses.  While the economy is moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace, it is not nearly fast enough to dramatically improve the unemployment situation, which continues to languish.”

Source: NFIB