America's small businesses haven't been this pumped up since the 'roaring Reagan economy'

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
  • The NFIB’s measure of small business optimism reached its highest level in 34 years in November.
  • A handful of more specific indexes also climbed to record or near-record levels.

A measure of US small business optimism hit its highest level since 1983 last month, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.

The index gained 3.7 points in November, a big jump from the near-record performance seen in the previous month, NFIB data showed. In addition, eight of 10 components posted gains, including a rare 16-point increase in a reading of expected better business conditions.

“Not since the roaring Reagan economy has small business optimism been as high as it was in November,” NFIB wrote in its release.

Here are some other key takeaways from the report:

  • Job creation plans increased six points in November, “providing more evidence of a strong labour market,” said the NFIB
  • The number of owners who said it’s a “good time to expand” rose 4 points
  • A net 24% of respondents said they plan to create new jobs, up 6 points to a record reading

“We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting this research,” Juanita Duggan, the organisation’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Small business owners are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth.”

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