SURVEY: Small business uncertainty plunges in December

Jan 05, 2017

RALEIGH — The percentage of small business owners not able to anticipate economic conditions over the next six months fell 11 points, driving down the monthly National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Uncertainty Index, the organization announced recently. State-specific data is unavailable.

“President-elect Trump made some important cabinet nominations in December which suggest a much better tax and regulatory environment for small businesses,” said Juanita Duggan, NFIB President and CEO. “Small business owners are breathing easier as the new administration’s economic policies come into view.”

The NFIB Uncertainty Index incorporates a series of questions asking small business owners about their expectations for sales, hiring, and general economic conditions. Leading up to the election on Nov. 8, the percentage of owners who answered, “don’t know,” rose to record levels.

“Small business owners like what they see so far,” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist. “The new management team that is shaping up has a much different view of government’s role in the economy than the outgoing administration. They are pledging to cut regulations, taxes, and health insurance costs. Small business owners are starting to think about how to invest that money in growth.”

The NFIB Uncertainty Index tumbled 15 points, from 100 to 85. The percentage of owners who are unsure if the economy will be better in the next six months fell from 23 to 12 percent in December.

The percentage of owners unsure about making capital expenditures fell from 20 to 10 percent, another signal that small business is on the verge of a breakout.

“These are positive signs that small business is ready to lead the expansion with new investments and new jobs,” Duggan said.

To view the NFIB Uncertainty Index, visit www.nfib.com/uncertainty-index. To learn more about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.