Recent Updates

  • Australia: Population (2017)
  • New Zealand: External Migration (Mar); Australia: CPI (Q1)
  • Japan: Service Producer Price Index, Checks and Bills Clearing (Mar)
  • Malaysia: Business Cycle Indicators (Feb); Bangladesh: Nominal Wage Rates (Dec); China: FDI, Domestic Debt Securities, Stock Market, Oil Consumption (Mar)
  • US: Existing Home Sales Detail (Mar)
  • UAE: CPI (Mar), Dubai GDP (Q4); Lebanon: CPI (Mar);
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Small Business Optimism Recovered
by Tom Moeller August 8, 2006

Small business optimism last month recovered most of the June decline with a 1.4% rise, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Nevertheless, the average level of the NFIB index this year remained 2.5% below the 2005 average.

During the last ten years there has been a 70% correlation between the level of the NFIB index and the two quarter change in real GDP.

Respondents expecting the economy to improve rose modestly m/m but remained near the lowest level since early 2001.

The percentage of firms planning to increase employment improved markedly m/m but the number of firms currently with one or more job openings slipped. During the last ten years there has been a 72% correlation between the NFIB percentage and the y/y change in nonfarm payrolls.

The percent planning to raise capital expenditures rose to 31%, about the same as last year..The percentage of firms planning to raise average selling prices rose back to 30% and the percentage of firms actually raising prices was stable m/m at 23%. During the last ten years there has been a 60% correlation between the change in the producer price index and the level of the NFIB price index.

About 24 million businesses exist in the United States. Small business creates 80% of all new jobs in America.

Nat'l Federation of Independent Business July June Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Small Business Optimism Index (1986=100) 98.1 96.7 -3.0% 101.6 104.6 101.3
large image