It’s a quiet week for the economy. After last week’s whirlwind, there’s decidedly less data coming out over the next few days.
But today we get a survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) that you should get excited about.
Small businesses, who the NFIB surveys, have not been very happy during this recovery, and have generally railed against regulation and so forth. And overall they remain pessimistic.
But in recent months, some important trends have been taking place in the survey.
We want to spotlight two charts from last month’s survey (.pdf).
This first chart shows what respondents answer when they’re asked about their “single most important problem.”
As you can see, it used to be “sales” during the pit of the recession. Now that’s plunged, and increasingly a problem is labour quality (meaning it’s harder and harder for companies to find good workers). Taxes are a perennially high complaint.
The other really interesting chart looks at wages. As you can see, planned wage increases have been rising quite sharply lately.
The wage question is one of the most important questions right now in the economy. If wages are gathering steam, it will put pressure on the Fed to tighten policy sooner rather than later.
So far, official measures show very little wage pressure, but other indicators such as this one suggest it’s in the pipeline.
Today’s survey comes out at 7:30. Get excited. It will reveal some interesting trends in the economy. We’ll be watching.