WASHINGTON (10/14/15)--The National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) small-business optimism index inched up by 0.2 points in September to 96.1, but the reading still sits lower than its cyclical peak of 100.4 (Economy.com Oct. 13).
September’s gain marked the third-straight monthly increase, and also the fifth in the past six months, but the index is still trying to gain back the 4.2-point stumble it experienced in June.
“The absence of a decline in the NFIB small business optimism index over the past few months suggests that the volatility in financial markets and heightened concerns about the global economy haven’t significantly affected small-business sentiment,” said Ryan Sweet, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “… but there is room for improvement.”
Beyond the headline reading, 12% of respondents said they plan to increase their payrolls in the next three months, although many businesses reported having difficulty finding skilled workers. In September, a net 27% said they had a job opening that was hard to fill, just off August’s pace.
Additionally, a net 16% of respondents said they plan to raise compensation in the next three months, a 3% jump from the previous month.
Other findings from the survey: