Tag Archives: small business

NFIB Small Business Optimism – February 2017

The February NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, March 14, 2017. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Owners Continue To Have High Expectations For Washington.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism decreased .6 points in February to 105.3.

Here are some excerpts that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

Business owners reporting higher sales improved four percentage points, rising to the first positive reading since early 2015. The percent of owners expecting higher real sales fell three points to a net 26 percent. This follows a 20-point rise in December and remains positive.

Capital spending among small business owners rose two points to 62 percent, the second highest reading since 2007. Owners reported spending on new equipment, vehicles, and improvement or expansion of facilities. The percent of owners planning capital outlays slipped one point to 26 percent. Duggan said after years of ball-and-chain regulation and poor economic growth, small businesses are ready to invest.

“Small businesses will begin to turn optimism into action when their two biggest priorities, healthcare and small business taxes, are addressed,” said Duggan. “To small business, these are both taxes that need reform. It is money out the door that strangles economic growth.”

also:

Credit Markets

Three percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, down 1 point. Thirty percent reported all credit needs met (down 1 point), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan. However, including those who did not answer the question, uninterested in borrowing, 67 percent of owners have no interest in borrowing. Record numbers of firms remain on the “credit sidelines”, seeing no good reason to borrow yet, in spite of the surge in optimism. As optimism is translated into spending plans, borrowing activity should pick up. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 22 percent citing taxes, 15 percent citing regulations and red tape, and 17 percent the availability of qualified labor. Weak sales garnered 12 percent of the vote.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the March 14 Doug Short post titled “NFIB Small Business Survey:  Optimism Remains High in February“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full February 2017 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2364.97 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – November 2016

The November NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, December 13, 2016. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Special NFIB Optimism Index Finds Dramatically Different Attitudes Among Small Business Owners Before And After Election.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased 3.5 points in November to 98.4.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

Small business optimism remained flat leading up to Election Day and then rocketed higher as business owners expected much better conditions under new leadership in Washington, according to a special edition of the monthly NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism, released today.

also:

Labor Markets

Reported job creation remained weak in November with the seasonally adjusted average employment change per firm posting a gain of 0.02 workers per firm, positive, but barely. Fifty-eight percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 3 points), but 52 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Sixteen percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their ‘Single Most Important Business Problem’.

Thirty-one percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 3 points and the highest reading in this recovery. The increase accurately predicted the decline in the unemployment rate from what many already call a “full employment” level. Sixteen percent reported using temporary workers, up 1 point. A seasonally adjusted net 15 percent plan to create new jobs, up 5 points from October and the strongest reading in the recovery.

also:

Credit Markets

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, unchanged from October. Thirty percent reported all credit needs met (up 1 point), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan, down 1 point. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Thirty-one percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis (up 3 points). The average rate paid on short maturity loans rose 40 basis points to 5.6 percent. Overall, loan demand remains historically weak, owners can’t find many good reasons to borrow and invest, even with abundantly cheap money.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the December 13 Doug Short post titled “NFIB: Small Business Survey:  ‘Small Business Optimism Soars Post Election’“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full November 2016 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2256.96 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – August 2016

The August NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, September 13, 2016. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Political Climate As Negative Factor Hits Record High In Monthly NFIB Index Of Small Business Optimism.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased .2 points in August to 94.4.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

At 94.4, the Index remains well below the 42-year average of 98. Five of the 10 Index components posted a gain, four declined, and one remained unchanged. The outlook for business conditions in the next six months had the most dramatic change, dropping seven points. Setting an all-time high for the survey, 39 percent of business owners cited the political climate as a reason not to expand.  Uncertainty about the economy and government policy also hit record highs among small business owners.

also:

Inventory and Sales

The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months fell 1 percentage point to a net negative 9 percent. Eleven percent cited weak sales as their top business problem, down 1 point from July. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes fell 2 points to a net negative 1 percent of owners, a weak showing.

The net percent of owners reporting inventory gains increased 5 points to a net negative 0 percent (seasonally adjusted), restoring some balance after a major reduction in the first half of the year. The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” improved 2 points to a net negative 2 percent. The net percent of owners planning to add to inventory increased 1 point to a net 1 percent, not a strong picture, but now positive and a contribution to growth if owners follow through as planned.

also:

Capital Spending

Fifty-seven percent reported capital outlays, down 2 points from July. The percentage of owners making an outlay peaked in July 2015 at 61 percent, revisiting that percentage in January but has faded since. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months rose 3 points to 28 percent. This is 1 point better than the recovery high reading reached in October 2014, but historically weak. The small business sector remains in “maintenance mode”. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent expecting better business conditions deteriorated 7 percentage points to a net negative 12 percent. Clearly, expectations for the economy are not conducive to a meaningful improvement in business investment as prospects for profits are poor.

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full August 2016 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2127.02 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – May 2016

The May NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, June 14, 2016. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Optimism Rises Modestly In May.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased .2 points in May to 93.8.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

The Index of Small Business Optimism rose two tenths of a point in May to 93.8, a negligible increase showing no real enthusiasm for making capital outlays, increasing inventories, or expanding, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

also:

INVENTORIES AND SALES

The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months deteriorated 2 percentage points to a net negative 8 percent, a poor reading and reflective of weaker consumer spending in Q1. Fourteen percent cited weak sales as their top business problem, up 3 points from April. Overall, this is not a strong sales picture. Seasonally adjusted, the next percent of owners expecting higher real sales volumes was unchanged at a net 1 percent of owners, a weak showing. This is well below the average 14 point reading in the first three months of 2015.

The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases deteriorated 1 point to a net negative 6 percent (seasonally adjusted), a weak reading. The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” improved a point to a net negative 4 percent. The net percent of owners planning to add to inventory decreased 1 point to a net negative 1 percent. These weak inventory investment readings are consistent with the rather poor performance of consumer spending in the first quarter, leaving owners with excessive stocks and no incentive to add to them.

also:

CAPITAL SPENDING

Fifty-eight percent reported capital outlays, down 2 points. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months fell 2 points to 23 percent. Seasonally adjusted, the net percent expecting better business conditions increased 5 percentage points to a net negative 13 percent. The seasonally adjusted net percent expecting higher real sales was unchanged at 1 percent of all owners, not very strong. Clearly, expectations for the economy are not conducive to a meaningful improvement in business investment.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the June 14 Doug Short post titled “NFIB: Small Business Survey Rises Modestly in May“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full May 2016 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2069.88 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – February 2016

The February NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, March 8, 2016. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Optimism Hits Two-Year Low.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism dropped 1.0 points in February to 92.9.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

The percent of owners citing the difficulty of finding qualifed workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem fell 3 points to 12 percent, still number three on the list of problems behind taxes and regulations and red tape, and historically high.

also:

INVENTORIES AND SALES

The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months improved 1 point, rising to a net negative 6 percent on the back of a solid January consumer spending number. Eleven percent cited weak sales as their top business problem, down 1 point. Overall, this is not a strong sales picture. Expected real sales volumes posted a 3 point loss, falling to a seasonally adjusted net 0 percent of owners expecting gains. This is well below the average 14 point reading in the first three months of 2015. Owners aren’t expecting a very energetic opening to the year.

also:

CAPITAL SPENDING

Fifty-eight percent reported capital outlays, down 3 points. Overall, capital spending weakened again in February. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months fell 2 points to 23 percent. Clearly, expectations for the economy are not conducive to an improvement in business investment.

also:

CREDIT MARKETS

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, 2 points above the record low reached in September 2015. Thirty-one percent reported all credit needs met (down 4 points), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan. For most of the recovery, record numbers of firms have been on the “credit sidelines”, seeing no good reason to borrow. Only 3 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 21 percent citing taxes, 19 percent citing regulations and red tape and 12 percent citing the availability of qualified labor.  When credit is an issue, owners report it as illustrated by 37 percent reporting credit hard to get in the early 1980s compared to 5 percent today. The Fed reported that business lending is on the rise, but there is little evidence of this among NFIB’s 350,000 member firms.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the March 8 Doug Short post titled “NFIB:  Small Business Survey ‘Just Treading Water’“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full February 2016 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 1993.84 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – November 2015

The November NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released yesterday, December 8, 2015. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Optimism Collapses In November After Three Stagnant Months.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism dropped 1.3 points in November to 94.8.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

During this holiday season, small business owners are finding little to be hopeful or optimistic about including the economy in the New Year. This month’s Index continues to signal a lackluster economy and shows that the small business sector has no expansion energy whatsoever.

also:

INVENTORIES AND SALES

The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months improved 3 percentage points to a net negative 5 percent.This is an “improvement” only in an economy that is delivering a sub-par performance.Nine percent cited weak sales as their top business problem, down 3 points. Overall, the direction of these changes is positive, but they are insufficient to really change the picture. Expected real sales volumes posted a 5 point decline, falling to a seasonally adjusted net negative 1 percent of owners expecting gains, a long way down from the 20 percent reading in December 2014.

The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases was a net negative 3 percent (seasonally adjusted), down 1 point. The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” lost 2 points, fall to a net negative 6 percent, as weak sales expectations made current stocks look excessive and future sales are not expected to grow much. The net percent of owners planning to add to inventory was unchanged at a net 0 percent, not much help for Q4 GDP growth.With weak expectations for sales and business conditions, prospects for strong inventory investment are poor.

also:

CREDIT MARKETS

Three percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, 1 point above the record low reached in September. Thirty-two percent reported all credit needs met (up 2 points), and 52 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis, down 1 point. The average rate paid on short maturity loans fell 40 basis points to 4.7 percent. Loan demand remains historically weak, owners can’t find many good reasons to borrow to invest when expectations for growth are not very positive. The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months was a negative 4 percent, a 1 point improvement.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the December 8 Doug Short post titled “NFIB:  Small Business Index Declined in November“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full November 2015 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2063.59 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – September 2015

The September NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, October 13, 2015. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Optimism Continues To Be Low.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased .2 points in September to 96.1.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index was basically unchanged from August to September. Reading 96.1, the Index gained 0.2 points and remains well below the 42 year average of 98.

also:

LABOR MARKETS

Overall, a solid improvement in hiring activity. There was no evidence in the NFIB data that job creation slacked off sharply from June and July, each with 245,000 jobs. Reported job creation returned to its best level of the year, with owners adding a net 0.18 workers per firm in recent months, up 0.05 from August. Fifty-three percent reported hiring or trying to hire (down 3 points), but 45 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Fourteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 1 point after a cumulative 3 percentage point decline over the past few months. Twenty-seven percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, down 2 points from the highest reading for this year. Highly correlated with the unemployment rate, little change is expected. A net 12 percent plan to create new jobs, down 1 point. Historically this is a solid number and supportive of positive job creation.

also:

CAPITAL SPENDING

Fifty-eight percent reported capital outlays, unchanged from August. Seven percent acquired new buildings or land for expansion (unchanged) and 14 percent spent money for new fixtures and furniture (up 1 point). Overall, capital spending was basically flat. The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months gained 1 point to 25 percent, not a strong reading historically but among the better in this expansion. Of the 51 percent of owners who said it was not a good time to expand (up 1 point), 22 percent (up 2 points) blamed the political environment.

Seasonally adjusted, the net percent expecting better business conditions rose 2 points to a net negative 4 percent, a rather negative outlook for “expansion”. The seasonally adjusted net percent expecting higher real sales fell 6 points to a net 1 percent of all owners. Owner expectations for the economy overall appear to anticipate a continuation of “under-performance”. Investment plans remain historically sub-par, and owners have little interest in borrowing to support investment spending that promises little return.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the October 13 Doug Short post titled “NFIB:  Small Business Index Up .2 In September“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full September 2015 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2017.46 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – July 2015

The May NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released yesterday, August 11, 2015. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “After Two Steps Backwards In June, Small Business Optimism Takes One Step Forward In July.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased 1.3 points in July to 95.4.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

“July has produced the most grudging of gains in the Index’s history and is still not above the 42 year average of 98.0, 99.5 through 2007. This leaves current readings just over two points below the average and five points below the December 2014 reading.”- Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB Chief Economist

also:

LABOR MARKETS

Job creation was flat in July. On balance, owners added a net 0.05 workers per firm in recent months, better than June’s -0.01 reading, but still close to the zero line. Fifty-seven percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 5 points), but 48 percent reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Sixteen percent reported using temporary workers, down 2 points. Twenty-five percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 1 point, but 4 points below the highest reading for this year. A net 12 percent plan to create new jobs, up 3 points reversing last month’s loss.

also:

CREDIT MARKETS

Four percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, historically low. Thirty-two percent reported all credit needs met, and 51 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan. For most of the recession, record numbers of firms have been on the “credit sidelines”, seeing no good reason to borrow. Only 2 percent reported that financing was their top business problem compared to 22 percent citing taxes, 21 percent citing regulations and red tape and 10 percent citing weak sales.

The availability of qualified labor has replaced weak sales in third position, cited by 13 percent as the number one problem. In the Great Recession, no more than 5 percent cited credit availability and interest rates as their top problem compared to as high as 37 percent in the Volcker era. Thirty percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis, down 1 point. The average rate paid on short maturity loans rose 20 basis points to 5.2 percent. Loan demand remains historically, owners can’t find many good reasons to borrow to invest when expectations for growth are not very positive.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the August 11 Doug Short post titled “NFIB:  Small Business Optimism Up 1.3 In July“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full July 2015 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2056.03 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – May 2015

The May NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released today, June 9, 2015. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “Small Business Optimism Rises In May, Yet Nothing To Write Home About.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased 1.4 points in May to 98.3.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

The Index of Small Business Optimism increased 1.4 points to 98.3 in spite of 5 months of lousy growth. May is the best reading since the 100.4 December reading but nothing to write home about. The 42 year average is 98.0, a bit lower than the 99.5 average through 2007. Eight of the 10 Index components posted improvements. Overall, the Index remained in a holding pattern, a few points below the pre-recession average, although at the 42 year average, and showing no tendency to “break out” into a stronger pattern of economic growth.

also:

LABOR MARKETS

Small businesses posted another decent month of job creation in May, a string of 5 solid months of job creation. On balance, owners added a net 0.13 workers per firm over the past few months. Fourteen percent reported raising employment an average of 2.7 workers per firm while 12 percent reported reducing employment an average of 3 workers per firm. Fifty-five percent reported hiring or trying to hire (up 2 points), but 47 percent, reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Thirteen percent reported using temporary workers. Twenty-nine percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, up 2 points, revisiting the February reading, and the highest reading since April 2006.

also:

INVENTORIES AND SALES

The seasonally adjusted net percent of all owners reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months rose a stunning 11 points to a net 7 percent. Eleven percent cited weak sales as their top business problem (unchanged). Expected real sales volumes posted a 3 point decline, falling to a net 7 percent of owners expecting gains, after a 5 point decline in January and February, a 2 point decline in March and a 3 point decline in April. Overall, expectations are not showing a lot of strength.

The net percent of owners reporting inventory increases fell 4 points to a net negative 5 percent (seasonally adjusted). The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” improved 1 point to a net 0 percent. The reductions were apparently a result of unexpectedly strong improvement in sales trends, and left balance in the assessment of current stocks. The net percent of owners planning to add to inventory was unchanged at a net 4 percent, in sympathy with the more widespread reduction in stocks. Inventory investment might have been even stronger in light of the liquidation had expectations for real sales gains improved rather than softened.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the June 9 Doug Short post titled “Small Business Optimism Rises:  Best Reading Since December“:

NFIB Small Business Optimism

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full May 2015 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2082.66 as this post is written

NFIB Small Business Optimism – March 2015

The March NFIB Small Business Optimism report was released yesterday, April 14, 2015. The headline of the Small Business Economic Trends report is “In Rare Occurrence, All Ten Components Of NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Weakened.”

The Index of Small Business Optimism decreased 2.8 points in March to 95.2.

Here are some excerpts from that I find particularly notable (but don’t necessarily agree with):

INVENTORIES AND SALES

The net percent of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past 3 months compared to the prior 3 months improved 3 points, to a net negative 3 percent. Certainly consumer spending has not shown much energy in the past few months. Eleven percent cited weak sales as their top business problem, down 1 point. Expected real sales volumes posted a 2 point decline, falling to a net 13 percent of owners expecting gains, after a 5 point decline in January and February. Sales prospects are still looking reasonably good to owners, just not as hot as in the fourth quarter last year.

After 4 months of positive inventory investment, the pace of inventory investment reversed direction, with a net negative 4 percent of all owners reporting growth in inventories (seasonally adjusted). The net percent of owners viewing current inventory stocks as “too low” deteriorated 3 points to a net negative 5 percent, indicating that inventories are excessive when compared to expected sales volumes. The net percent of owners planning to add to inventory stocks fell 3 points to 1 percent, positive, but not a large force behind inventory investment in Q2.

also:

CAPITAL SPENDING

Fifty-eight percent reported outlays, down 2 points.  Spending has not caught fire in spite of historically low interest rates. There is too much uncertainty and expected growth is too soft. Of those making expenditures, 40 percent reported spending on new equipment (down 3 points), 24 percent acquired vehicles (down 1 point), and 14 percent improved or expanded facilities (down 2 points). Eight percent acquired new buildings or land for expansion (unchanged) and 10 percent spent money for new fixtures and furniture (down 2 points). The percent of owners planning capital outlays in the next 3 to 6 months fell 2 points to 24 percent, not a strong reading historically. Of the 42 percent of owners who said it was a bad time to expand (down 1 point), 21 percent (down 2 points) still blamed the political environment.

also:

CREDIT MARKETS

Five percent of owners reported that all their credit needs were not met, up 2 points but historically low. Thirty-five percent reported all credit needs met, and 48 percent explicitly said they did not want a loan. For most of the recession, record numbers of firms have been on the “credit sidelines”, seeing no good reason to borrow. Only 3 percent reported that financing was their top business problem. Thirty-two percent of all owners reported borrowing on a regular basis, up 2 points. The average rate paid on short maturity loans rose 60 basis points to 5.7 percent. Loan demand remained historically weak. The net percent of owners expecting credit conditions to ease in the coming months was a negative 6 percent, a 2 point deterioration. Interest rates are low, but prospects for putting borrowed money profitably to work have not improved enough to induce owners to step up their borrowing and spending.

Here is a chart of the NFIB Small Business Optimism chart, as seen in the April 14 Doug Short post titled “Small Business Optimism:  A Nine-Month Low“ :

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

Further details regarding small business conditions can be seen in the full March 2015 NFIB Small Business Economic Trends (pdf) report.

_____

The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation

SPX at 2095.84 as this post is written