The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Economic Trends Report (SBET) [.pdf], and the news was an improvement over the prior month:

The National Federation of Independent Business Index of Small Business Optimism rose 1.5 points in November rising to 93.2, the highest reading since December 2007, and the fourth consecutive monthly gain.

Unfortunately, even a reading of 93.2 is still recessionary territory.

Two items of note:

Hiring Plans increased to +4, the best reading in about two years.  This measure has gone from -3 two months ago, to +1 last month, and now to +4.  Hopefully this will translate to some better payroll numbers over the next few months.  It would appear small businesses may at least be seeing some light at the end of this long tunnel.

“Poor Sales” remains mired at near record high levels as the “single biggest problem” facing small business owners — 30 this month, and at 29 or above since February 2009.  This indicator of what’s holding back small businesses has a very high correlation to the unemployment rate (0.86):

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Category: Consumer Spending, Cycles, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment

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8 Responses to “NFIB: Modest Improvement and Correlation du jour”

  1. pintelho says:

    great stuff… do you have an R value on the correlation?

  2. DG_Allen says:

    Odd, I thought it was all the uncertainty that was holding small business back.

    Thanks for some actual data on the subject BR.

  3. Joe Friday says:

    Indeed.

    Surprising to see a far RightWing group like the NFIB release data that so flies in the face of the mantra from their fellow travelers in Congress.

  4. ottnott says:

    That would be an economy in need of a demand-side boost.

    And now an anecdote from a time when the economy was in need of a supply-side boost:

    I’ve been listening to Calf Killer Old Time Radio Podcast of shows from the 1930s – 1950s. One long-lived show was sponsored by Lux soap (“9 out of 10 Hollywood stars use Lux Toilet Soap for their complexion”). In an episode that was broadcast more than a year after the end of WWII, the sponsors were still apologizing for the occasional shortages of soap and were asking listeners to help by continuing the war-time practice of saving grease and used cooking oil from their kitchens and bringing it to the grocery store for collection and use in soap manufacture.

  5. [...] – Correlation between the “poor sales” component of the NFIB survey and unemployment. [...]

  6. Ltdata says:

    Some green shoots in the middle of winter. Signs the economy is righting itself. Nice.

  7. countziggenpuss says:

    “Poor sales”??? No, no, no!!! It’s TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! UNCERTAINTY!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! TAXES!!! UNCERTAINTY!!!

  8. Vasastan says:

    Very interesting graph. Could some kind soul point me to where the source data for the “Poor sales” series might be found?