"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

It's time for the National Federation of Independent Businesses to release its survey of small business attitudes towards topics such as employment, capital spending, inventories, credit conditions, and so on and so forth.  You know.  All those things that represent the life blood of a business.  And since small businesses employ right around half of all private sectors and pay nearly half of the total US private payroll, those things also represent the life blood of US GDP.
Last month, we saw a bearish small business sector, with a 2.6 decline in the overall index (falling to a level of 91.9).  The survey results indicated that small businesses were bearish on employment, economic improvement, and earnings, but were bullish on capital outlay plans and plans to increase employment.
There are no analyst projections, mostly because analysts don't seem to really care about this report.  The press release shows a second month of waning optimism, with the index falling 0.7 to a level of 91.2 for April.  Drilling into the report, we see that small businesses are optimistic about earnings , and substantially pessimistic about economic improvement, future capital outlays, and economic improvement.

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