SuperTalk Mississippi

Small business optimistic about the future

According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small business optimism is at one of it’s highest readings in 43 years. 

The Small Business Optimism Index suggested the outlook is due to expected changes made to healthcare law, tax reform, and regulatory relief from Washington.

Even though the index fell 0.6 points in February, the reading still remained very high at 105.3. The decline came after the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history in December with another uptick happening in January.

While no specific numbers for Mississippi are available, NFIB State Director Ron Aldridge said, “Our members are really encouraged by what’s happening in Washington.”

“It is encouraging that the index has persisted at 105 for three months in a row,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Although optimism remains high, growth is still a problem because of restrictive government policies.”

Job openings reached a level high since December 2000. Owners reported more difficulty finding qualified workers to fill positions. 26 percent of small business owners reported raising compensation. That percent is one of the highest seen since February 2007.

Business owners are reporting higher sales improved four percentage points. This is the first positive reading since early 2015. Capital spending rose two points to 62 percent, the second highest reading since 2007. Owners were spending more on equipment, vehicles, and improvement of facilities.

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