More business owners plan capital expenditures
U.S.--The ‘ NFIB Small Business Optimism Index’ crept back to its August level of 96.1 with a gain of 0.8 points led by a modest increase in the net per cent of owners who plan to increase capital spending and more who expect higher sales in the next three months.
“Those were the two bright spots in an otherwise mixed reading,” says Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
According to the survey, for example, owners are slightly less optimistic about business conditions over the next six months as well as the outlook for expansion. November’s survey, which will reflect the election outcome, should provide some insight on whether different leadership in Congress has had any effect on small business optimism since 28 per cent of owners blame Washington politics for the country’s economic problems.
“They’re making capital investments and trying to fill positions despite that they cannot anticipate a better economy,” says Dunkelberg. “Basically they’re preparing to taxi the runway but they don’t expect to take off anytime soon.”
Interestingly, a record low per centage of small business owners reported problems getting access to capital and an unusually high number of owners say they have no interest in borrowing.
“The political class and a fair number of economists have assumed for years that small business is starved for credit,” says Dunkelberg. “That appears to be an egregious misdiagnosis. Local business owners, for the most part, can borrow all they need but mainly, they’re not interested now in taking on debt because they’re not confident in the future.”
To read the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index report, click here.