CEO Morning Brief

US Small-business Optimism Increases for First Time This Year

Publish date: Wed, 15 May 2024, 10:44 PM
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(May 14): US small-business optimism rebounded for the first time this year in April as sales expectations improved, while the share of owners planning price increases fell to a one-year low.

The National Federation of Independent Business sentiment index rose 1.2 points to 89.7 from the lowest level since 2012. While the gauge topped economists’ forecasts, it remains well below the long-term average of 98.

The share of firms planning to increase prices fell seven percentage points to 26%, the lowest reading since April 2023. The proportion indicating inflation was their top concern fell three points to 22% from an almost one-year high a month earlier.

“Cost pressures remain the top issue for small business owners, including historically high levels of owners raising compensation to keep and attract employees,” Bill Dunkelberg, the group’s chief economist, said in a statement. “Overall, small-business owners remain historically very pessimistic as they continue to navigate these challenges.”

The gain in small-business optimism was just the second since July of last year. The pickup in April comes as sentiment among US consumers has fallen in recent months amid concerns over high interest rates, elevated prices and a cooling labor market.

Seven of the 10 components that make up the small-business sentiment index increased in April, led by a six-point improvement in sales expectations. The share of owners who said they plan to boost capital spending also increased.

Among the labour-related indexes, the share of firms reporting job openings they couldn’t fill climbed three points in April to 40%, while 12% of firms said they plan to create new jobs in the next three months, up a percentage point. Still, those labour metrics had been largely falling this year.

Source: TheEdge - 15 May 2024

Be the first to like this. Showing 0 of 0 comments

Post a Comment