Small Business Optimism Drops, But Not For Long, Says NFIB


NFIB Small Business Optimism Index September 2017

The optimism coursing through many small businesses earlier this year is not as easy to detect right now.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index September 2017

According to the September NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism report, the dip in sentiment is fueled by a large drop in expected sales.

The results, according to NFIB, have nothing to do with the bad luck many small businesses experienced in the wake of a series of recent hurricanes.

The number of small business owners expecting better sales fell a full 12 points in August. Likewise, small businesses that felt it was a good time to expand fell a full ten points. 

Still, the report isn’t predicting the downward numbers to trend for too long. Experts says it’s more of a momentary realignment of expectations.  

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg says small businesses lost some of their optimism for proposed policy changes in Washington.  While they are still up beat overall, the September slip in numbers echoed this.

But the report found on the NFIB website still reflects an overall positive mood.  

“The Index remains very high by historical standards,” Dunkelberg says.  “Small business owners still expect policy changes from Washington on health care and taxes, and while they don’t know what those changes will look like, they expect them to be an improvement.”

The report also says hurricane relief spending will provide a significant boost next year and reduce the chances for recession. 

Still six of 10 NFIB indexes fell in September. Inventory plans was one of the bright spots rising five points since business owners are looking for a stronger fourth quarter. 

The NFIB Research Center has been collecting Small Business Economic Trends data from National Federation of Independent Business members since 1973.

Image: NFIB

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Rob Starr


Rob Starr Rob Starr is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

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