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Charts of the Week

NFIB Small Business Survey

Chart of the Week for November 16, 2018 - November 22, 2018

U.S. small business optimism has been strong for the past two years.

NFIB publishes a monthly seasonally adjusted index (NFIB Small Business Survey) that is derived from a large sample of its small business members. Among the 10 topics included in the survey are: plans to increase employment, plans to make capital expenditures, expect economy to improve, current job openings, and is now a good time to expand. Economists see the survey as a good representation of the health of small businesses, which represent about 50 percent of the nation's workforce.

The NFIB Small Business survey has generally been increasing since the Presidential election in 2016, reaching a high of 108.8 in August 2018 for the two-year period October 2016 through October 2018. The October 2018 survey value was 107.4, a slight decrease from 107.9 in September 2018. For the October report, 22% of respondents noted plans to expand employment, while 38% responded they had problems finding qualified workers. Economists note that the uncertainty index within the survey, which is measured by the number of "don't know" or "uncertain" responses to specific survey questions, was the highest level since September 2017. Business owners were likely concerned about the outcome of the mid-term elections and impacts on government policies including taxation, trade and healthcare, as well as rising U.S. interest rates.

© Copyright 2018 ICMA Retirement Corporation, All Rights Reserved. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or investment strategies discussed here. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future performance.

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