Small Business Optimism Dips Lower Ahead of Election

Date: October 11, 2016

Related Content: News State California Economy

National Federation of Independent Business/California
Contact: Shawn Lewis (916) 342-9315;
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Small Business Optimism Dips Lower Ahead of Election
Gain in expected business conditions offset by weak inventories

SACRAMENTO, Calif., October 11, 2016 –
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dipped 0.03 points in September for the second consecutive month. Increased inventories fell seven points while hard-to-fill job openings plunged six points landing at 24 percent. Six of the 10 indices dropped, washing away the rise in expected business conditions.

The net percent of small business owners who expect better business conditions in the next six months jumped 12 points last month, according to the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Report (SBET), released today, but that gain was erased by significantly weaker inventories and hard-to-fill job openings.

Expected business conditions over the next six months was the biggest mover in this month’s survey, climbing out of negative territory back to zero with a 12-point gain.

“We improved from awful to bad,” said Tom Scott, NFIB/CA State Executive Director. “The bottom line is that small business owners are deeply uncertain about the future, and that is affecting their decisions.”

According to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, small business owners won’t be hiring or building inventories – both of which signify confidence in the economy – until something changes in Washington.

“It is quite clear that the top issues for small-business owners will not be addressed this year,” said Dunkelberg. “The presidential election is so divisive that it offers little promise of a bipartisan effort to deal with any of these important issues.”

To view the entire NFIB September SBET report, visit


For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB has 350,000 dues-paying members nationally, with over 22,000 in California. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. To learn more visit

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