Tags: NFIB | small | business | optimism

NFIB: Small Business Sector Unable to 'Pull its Weight'

By    |   Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 02:23 PM

While the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)'s Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.7 point in July to 95.7, don't break out the champagne yet.

Eight of the index' 10 components were little changed. And the two that did appreciate solidly remain historically low.

"Expectations for business conditions and outlook for expansion accounted for virtually all of the net gain in July's index," NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement.

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The former component rose 4 percentage points and the latter rose 3 percentage points. The biggest loser was job openings, down 2 percentage points.

"Capital spending reports continue to remain mediocre, spending plans are weak, and inventories are too large, with more owners reporting sales trends deteriorating than improving," Dunkelberg noted.

Bottom line: "as long as these stats continue to hold, the small business half of the economy will continue to not be able to pull its weight," he added.

Meanwhile, Karen Mills, former head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), says loan availability remains a problem for small businesses, and that spells trouble for the economy.

Small businesses account for about 55 percent of the economy's jobs, according to the SBA.

"There is no data that definitively measures either the credit gap for small business or the impact of that gap on the economy," Mills, now a senior fellow at Harvard, wrote in a working paper. "However, the information that exists paints a troubling picture."

For example, commercial loans below $1 million have dropped approximately 20 percent from the years leading up to the recession, according to the FDIC.

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While the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)'s small business optimism index rose 0.7 point in July to 95.7, don't break out the champagne yet.
NFIB, small, business, optimism
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2014-23-12
Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 02:23 PM
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