You just know that the report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is not going to be very positive when it is titled "Few Positive Signs for the Future, Little Change Likely Long-Term." This is an important issue when you consider that it is small businesses that are the only real hope for driving major employment gains at any given time.
The report showed that the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index gained 1.7 points in August, rising to 92.9. Today's report follows a weak employment report, and the NFIB did at least highlight some positive signs. The employment indicators for the fourth quarter improved substantially, along with plans for capital outlays and expectations for business conditions. The dark side of the report noted:
However, few employers continue to think the current period is a good time to expand. And, political uncertainty has reached a new record high for this business cycle, and small employers continue to act cautiously when it comes to growing their businesses.
The NFIB called the latest jobs report from the Labor Department terrible, and it expects that the number of businesses that view the current period as a terrible time to expand rose as well. Today's NFIB report showed that economic news was uninspiring and mixed, but the hint is that spirits may lift with the forecast of the election outcome and the chance for a favorable resolution of the current fiscal dilemma. It specifically noted:
If election odds start changing, owners (and consumers) may change their minds about spending, hiring and saving, but for now, expect little change in the current course of the economy.
JON C. OGG
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy