More good news from Q4… The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism index broke above 90 for the first time since the crisis.
The number is still ugly, but things are getting somewhat better.
Here’s the summary of the survey from the NFIB:
Optimism rose again in October to 91.7, but remains stuck in the recession zone established over the past two years, not a good reading even with a 2.7 point improvement over September. This is still a recession level reading based on Index values since 1973. However, job creation plans did turn positive and job reductions ceased. The mood for inventory investment weakened a bit even though views of inventory adequacy improved, and an improvement in sales trends produced a marked improvement in profit trends, still ugly, but less so by a significant amount.
And here’s the word on hiring:
Average employment growth per firm was 0 in October, one of the best performances in years. Reaching the “0” change level raises the odds that Main Street may contribute to private sector job growth for the first time in over a year. 10 per cent (seasonally adjusted) reported unfilled job openings, down one point and historically very weak. Over the next three months, eight per cent plan to increase employment (unchanged), and 13 per cent plan to reduce their workforce (down three points), yielding a seasonally adjusted net one per cent of owners planning to create new jobs, a four point gain from September.