Small-Business Optimism Fell in December, NFIB Says
By Kimberly Chin
Small-business owners' confidence in the U.S. economy declined
in December, though owners benefited from strong consumer spending
as well as federal tax and regulatory relief, according to the
National Federation of Independent Business.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index's December reading was
102.7, down two points from the prior month.
The NFIB survey is a monthly snapshot of small businesses in the
U.S., which account for nearly half of private-sector jobs.
Economists look to the report for a read on domestic demand and to
extrapolate hiring and wage trends in the broader economy.
The NFIB survey results--based on responses from 488
small-business owners--showed that owners who plan to create new
jobs fell by two points to 19% in December from a month
The Uncertainty Index rose eight points to 80, although fears of
a possible economic recession have subsided and noise around
impeachment have had little effect on sentiment, the NFIB said.
Around 29% of small business owners said they had raised
compensation in December, down by one point. Still, 24% of
participants said they planned to do so in the months ahead.
Owners expecting better business conditions in the coming months
notched three points higher to 16%.
Around 9% of small-business owners reported higher nominal sales
in the past three months, three points above the average 2019
reading, the NFIB said. Owners also had a bit more certainty about
future sales growth.
Write to Kimberly Chin at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 14, 2020 06:14 ET (11:14 GMT)
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