Small Business Optimism Remains Intact Despite Biden Missteps

August 9, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

There continues to be a level of optimistic caution from small businesses across the United States as owners weather the current economic environment. On Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its monthly Small Business Optimism Index, showing an increase of 0.9 of a point in July 2023. That index now sits at 91.9, which, according to NFIB, is the “19th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.”

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg issued the following statement in conjunction with the report, saying, “With small business owners’ views about future sales growth and business conditions dismal, owners want to hire and make money now from solid consumer spending. Inflation has eased slightly on Main Street, but difficulty hiring remains a top business concern.”

Additionally, the NFIB State Director for Arizona, Chad Heinrich, shared his own thoughts on the new data, writing, “With the state legislature finally adjourned from its regular session, small business owners can continue focusing on operating their businesses without worry of new costly mandates or higher taxes coming from our state government. We are thankful for the pro-small-business legislators willing to stand against job-killing tax increases and regulatory mandates on our small businesses in Arizona.”

The national business organization highlighted some of the findings uncovered by its newly revealed report, including that “owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months improved 10 points from June to a net negative 30%, 31 percentage points better than last June’s reading of a net negative 61% – which is the highest reading since August 2021 but historically very negative;” that “forty-two percent of owners reported job openings that were hard to fill, unchanged from June, but remaining historically very high;” that “the net percent of owners raising average selling prices decreased four points to a net 25% seasonally adjusted, still a very inflationary level but trending down – which is the lowest reading since January 2021;” and that “the net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher improved two points from June to a net negative 12%, a very pessimistic perspective.”

This NFIB Small Business Optimism Index has only climbed above 100 two times since President Joe Biden walked into the White House in January 2021. During the Trump administration, the Index sat over 100 for most months during the four years of his presidency – with declines during 2020 when COVID-19 decimated the health and structure of businesses around the nation. Earlier this month, President Biden touted his economic record, tweeting, “13.4 million jobs have been added to our economy on my watch. More than any other president in a full 4-year term, and heartening that our economic agenda is creating opportunity for working for families.”

The president also boasted of his policies giving a much-needed boost to the American economy, writing, “We have the lowest rate of inflation among the G7, down two thirds from its peak. That’s Bidenomics: growing the economy by creating jobs, lowering costs for hardworking families, and making smart investments in America.”

Twitter added a note from readers on this tweet from Biden, providing context to the information shared by the president. The note read: “According to a report released on July 4, 2023, Japan had the lowest inflation rate among the G7 countries in May of that year. The year-on-year inflation for the G7 as a whole fell to 4.6%, with Japan’s rate specifically registering below 3.5%.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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