Feb 18, 2024

NFIB: Optimism still below historical average

Posted Feb 18, 2024 10:15 AM

Hutch Post 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — According to Dan Murray with NFIB Kansas, a nationwide survey of NFIB members continues to lag behind its historical average.

"Small business owners expectations for higher sales declined in January," Murray said. "They're still concerned about inflation, still having trouble filling job openings that they have, finding qualified applicants. Our Small Business Optimism in January decreased two points."

The level was at 89.9, marking the 25th consecutive month below the 50-year average of 98. Not having good help means small business owners are working at their business, not on their business.

"The small business owner has to get in there and not only run the books and do marketing and all that, but also run the [business] itself," Murray said.  "Small business owners are doing what they normally do, which is roll up their sleeves and get to work." 

Although state-specific data is unavailable, Murray pointed to the Governor’s veto of tax reform as one more reason small business owners remain pessimistic in the New Year.

"The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher declined 12 points from December," Murray said. "Their expectations for sales seem to be declining. Maybe that's due in part because the holidays are behind us. Not sure what can turn the tide on that."

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the fourth quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986.  

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