Small Business Optimism Hits Near All-Time High

Date: December 11, 2017

Related Content: Issues State California Economy

NFIB Optimism Index soars past 107, closes in on 1983 record

National Federation of Independent Business/California
Contact: Shawn Lewis (916) 342-9315; [email protected]
Follow: @NFIB_CA and on Facebook

Small Business Optimism Hits Near All-Time High
NFIB Optimism Index soars past 107, closes in on 1983 record

SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 12, 2017 – Not since the roaring Reagan economy has small business optimism been as high nationally as it was in November, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Index of Small Business Optimism, released today.

“On the national level, we haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting this research,” said NFIB California Communications Director Shawn Lewis. “Small business owners across the country are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth.”

“This news is almost bittersweet for California. As reform at the federal level benefits small businesses across the country, our job creators have even less incentive to remain or grow in California with our incredibly high state taxes and labor regulations. As Washington embraces changes to support our job creators, including much-needed tax reform, Sacramento must answer the call and make policy changes to keep struggling small businesses in our state,” Lewis added.

The Index gained 3.7 points in November, a sharp increase over what was already a near-record performance the previous month. Eight of 10 components posted gains, including a stunning and rare 16-point gain in Expected Better Business Conditions and a 13-point jump in Sales Expectations.

“This is the second-highest reading in the 44-year history of the Index,” added NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The NFIB indicators clearly anticipate further upticks in economic growth, perhaps pushing up toward four percent GDP growth for the fourth quarter. This is a dramatically different picture than owners presented during the weak 2009-16 recovery.

“The change in the management team in Washington has dramatically improved expectations,” Dunkelberg continued.

Job Creation plans increased six points last month, providing more evidence of a strong labor market. The number of owners who said it’s a Good Time to Expand rose four points; Inventory Plans increased by three points; Inventory Satisfaction increased by three points; and Actual Earnings Trend moved up two points.

To view the entire NFIB Index of Small Business Optimism, please visit For more information about NFIB, please 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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