Economy, Small Business

Economic Data Roundup (10/11/2016)

10/11/16 12:00 PM

iStock_000009946822_Small.jpgThe National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB’s) small business optimism index fell to 94.1 in September, the second month-over-month decline in a row, worse than economists had expected, and well below the 40-year average (98.0). On the bright side, four of the ten main components that make up the headline sentiment index improved last month, with the largest gains seen in owners’ outlooks for sales growth and the overall economy. As for small business employment conditions, measures of job creation and hiring plans both firmed in September but the total number of job openings declined. The gauge of current wage growth cooled last month and plans to boost compensation were unchanged despite nearly half (48 percent) of respondents still complaining that there are “few or no” qualified applicants for vacant positions. Moreover, the top two problems facing surveyed small business owners have long been taxes and government regulation (by a wide margin) but “quality of labor” has been a rapidly growing challenge recently. In fact, reported concerns about labor quality actually ended last month tied with regulation (both just behind taxes). Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, added that “It has not occurred to the Fed that what meager growth we have had has occurred in spite of government policy, not because of it. The private sector continues to perform poorly in light of the barriers that governments at all levels throw up in its path.”

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Sources: NFIB

Post author: Charles Couch