Small Business Economic Trends: Moderate Improvement but No Clear Direction

Date: November 11, 2014

More owners plan to make capital expenditures, expect sales to increase

Contact: Jack Mozloom, 609-462-5610 or [email protected]

WASHINGTON, November 11, 2014- — The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index crept back to its August level of 96.1 with a gain of 0.8 points led by a modest increase in the net percent of owners who plan to increase capital spending and more who expect higher sales in the next 3 months.

“Those were the two bright spots in an otherwise mixed reading,” said Bill Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). 

According to the survey, for example, owners are slightly less optimistic about business conditions over the next six months as well as the outlook for expansion.  November’s survey, which will reflect the election outcome, should provide some insight on whether different leadership in Congress has had any effect on small business optimism since 28 percent of owners blame Washington politics for the country’s economic problems.

“They’re making capital investments and trying to fill positions despite that they cannot anticipate a better economy,” said Dunkelberg.  “Basically they’re preparing to taxi the runway but they don’t expect to take off anytime soon.”

Interestingly, a record low percentage of small business owners reported problems getting access to capital and an unusually high number of owners say they have no interest in borrowing.

“The political class and a fair number of economists have assumed for years that small business is starved for credit,” said Dunkelberg.  “That appears to be an egregious misdiagnosis.  Local business owners, for the most part, can borrow all they need but mainly, they’re not interested now in taking on debt because they’re not confident in the future.”

To learn more about NFIB please visit To interview Bill Dunkelberg please contact Media Director Jack Mozloom. To download the report, visit


Commemorating its 70th anniversary, the National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small-business association, with offices in Washington, D.C., and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. More information about NFIB is available at

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