2017 Economic Calendar
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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index  
Released On 6/13/2017 6:00:00 AM For May, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
level104.5 104.0 102.0  to 105.0 104.5 

Highlights
The small business optimism index remained unchanged in May at 104.5, reflecting the continuation of the very high level of optimism reached in the post-election months that pushed the index to the highest level in 12 years on expectations of tax cuts, health care reform and deregulation. Five of the index components posted a gain, four declined and one remained unchanged.

Robust hiring activity was featured in the report, with the average employment change at 0.34 putting hiring activity in May near the highest levels in the 43 year history of the index, the NFIB said. Plans to increase employment rose 2 points to 18, and current job openings were up 1 to 34.

Among the components also showing strength and promising expansion ahead were plans to increase capital outlays, which rose 1 to a very solid 28. Expectations of higher real sales rose 2 points to 22, and expectations that the economy will improve, the strongest component of all, gained another point to 39. And backing up the capital outlays plans, a large net 23 percent of small business owners still thought that now (in May) was a good time to expand, off just 1 point from the prior month.

Small business owners continue to show the least optimism about earnings trends, which fell another point to minus 10. And the level of current inventory fell 3 points deeper into negative territory to minus 6, while plans to increase inventory were down 2 points to 1. Business owners are also not too happy with credit conditions, which remained unchanged at a minus 4.

NFIB reiterated that the surge in optimism by small business owners since the election is based on expectations of policy changes, especially tax reform involving tax cuts and simplification of the tax code, and that while they have welcomed proposals in this direction by the President and Congress, they impatiently await the passage of bills that would deliver these changes.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The small business optimism index has been holding near expansion highs on strong economic optimism and aggressive hiring plans. Sales expectations and capital improvement plans have also been strong with earnings, however, the standout weakness. The Econoday consensus for May is 104.0 vs April's 104.5.

Definition
The small business optimism index is compiled from a survey that is conducted each month by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) of its members. The index is a composite of 10 seasonally adjusted components based on the following questions: plans to increase employment, plans to make capital outlays, plans to increase inventories, expect economy to improve, expect real sales higher, current inventory, current job openings, expected credit conditions, now a good time to expand, and earnings trend.  Why Investors Care
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/102/143/144/115/96/137/118/89/1210/1011/1412/12
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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