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Report: Small Business Optimism Rising

March 13th, 2012 Comments off

Legacy Homes Home Assembly Photo by Eric MillerThe National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says its Small-Business Optimism Index gained 0.4 points in February to 94.3 marking the sixth consecutive month of gains. The Index is lower than that of February 2011 but is the second highest reading since December 2007, the beginning of the recession. The group includes members in the manufactured housing industry sector. “The good news for small-business owners and those watching the economy is that things are getting better. However, at this slow pace of growth and recovery, it could be years before we are again enjoying prosperity,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The price of gasoline is a wild card, and rising energy costs will weigh heavy on the minds of small firm owners. The economy is holding on to tenuous gains, moving ahead in fits and starts which, hopefully, will result in future positive growth. First quarter growth will not likely match that of the fourth quarter, 2011, but it should remain positive.” Also noted in the report, ninety-three percent of small businesses say that all their credit needs were met or that they were not interested in borrowing. Thirty-one percent reported all credit needs met, seven percent reported that not all of their credit needs were satisfied (the record low is four percent, reached in 2000) and 50 percent said they did not want a loan. The report is based on the responses of 819 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership.

(Image Credit: Legacy Homes, Eric Miller)

Small Business Group: It Feels Like Spring Again

December 14th, 2011 Comments off

NFIBSmall-business optimism rose for the third consecutive month, gaining 1.8 points in November, and settling at a still weak 92.0, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB’s) latest index. Optimism appears to have climbed because fewer owners expect business conditions or sales to be worse in six months, indicating some hope on the horizon. Improvement, although small, was widespread with the forward-looking components indicating positive trends for the first time in many months. “After so many months of pessimism, November’s modest gain made it feel like spring, again,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “We have good reason to be optimistic about last month’s report and hopeful about what it means for the future. Still, our current reality is still very much the ongoing economic winter. November’s reading is still well below the average reading prior to 2008 levels from previous recoveries. More acutely, it is 2 points below January’s index, which means that there has been no progress over the calendar year. We should be encouraged, but cautiously so.” According the November’s survey, the percent of owners reporting “poor sales” as the top problem remained stubbornly high at 25 percent followed by 19 percent reporting both taxes and regulations. Inflation remained unchanged at six percent and interest rates fell 1 point to three percent as owners’ top problem. The report is based on the responses of 781 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership, surveyed throughout the month of November.

(Image Credits: NFIB)

NFIB Optimism

Canadian housing starts rise again, while NFIB survey sinks 5 straight

August 11th, 2011 Comments off

Canadian Flag Posted by  Manufactured Home Marketing Sales ManagmentFXStreet reports that Canadian housing starts moved up overall another 4.3% in July.  This was the third straight month of increases, with a 13% increase in multi-family starts, while single family starts declined 8%.  South of the Canadian line, they report that the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) small business survey was down for the fifth straight month.  This survey was completed by July 2.  So the impact of the S&P downgrade, and steep stock market decline was not yet covered in that survey.