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Small Businesses Stay Optimistic
Index Up 1.6 Points


Nineteen percent of firms surveyed in July said that they have plans to hire, which is the highest level since December 1999.

The latest survey results from the National Federation of Independent Business showed that in spite of stalled legislative reform and other entanglements in Washington, D.C., small businesses are feeling good about their future as the optimism index recorded its biggest month-to-month gain since the November elections.

Analysis of the results by the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group found that seven of 10 indicators improved in the month, with the largest gains coming from the amount of firms with job openings, and those expecting higher sales.

In addition, the number of firms that plan to hire, 19 percent, was the highest level since December 1999.

This good news coincides with a recent informal polling of LC/DBM readers about business outcomes in the first half of 2017, in which all respondents expressed positive results.

On the negative side of the NFIB polling, small businesses continue to put taxes at the top of their list of problems they face. The Wells Fargo Group pronounced however that, "increased economic activity in the second quarter seems to have outweighed the inability in Washington to pass any tax reform."

And in a record setting instance for the poll, 52 percent of small businesses reported that they have no or few qualified job applicants, which "indicates the labor market continues to tighten as workers are harder to come by."

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August 23, 2019, 1:36 pm PDT

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