Small Business Optimism Is Relatively Flat In August

Small-business owners may be relentless in their pursuits but their optimism may be running out of steam, according to a monthly report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The August Index of Small Business Optimism climbed just a half point to 95.9— below the NFIB’s 42-year average of 98 and in line with reported economic growth of about two percent for the first half of 2015.

“The index of Small Business Optimism went nowhere in August, so the good news is it did not fall,” says Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “Small-business owners did not seem to be very concerned about the antics of the stock market or China’s currency devaluation. Maybe it was too late in the month to be fully captured by the survey so more might be revealed in September, but most small-business owners have their capital primarily invested in their own firm, not other people’s firms.”

Two of the index’s components, Current Job Openings and Earning Trends, climbed four points in August, but behavior was otherwise muted. Plans to Increase Employment, Plans to Increase Inventories and Expect Real Sales Higher rose one point, while Plans to Make Capital Outlays and Current Inventory were flat. Three components—Expect Economy to Improve, Expected Credit Conditions and Now a Good Time to Expand—slipped two points.

Click here for the NFIB’s full report.

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