The latest stats are in from the small business community of the U.S., and the data is looking pretty good. The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose in September by 0.2 points from the month before, hitting a level of 96.1, according to reports Tuesday (Oct. 13).
The seemingly innocuous numbers have some significant real-world implications. According to reports, small business owners report an increase in hiring activity, having added net 0.18 workers for each company, marking the highest hiring rate of the year. More than half (53 percent) of small business owners said they have either hired or tried to hire new staff.
Nearly half (45 percent), however, said that they couldn’t hire new staff due to a lack of qualified applicants.
When it comes to cash flow, spending remained consistent in September, with 58 percent of SMEs reporting capital outlays, reports said. Just one-quarter of small businesses said they are planning capital outlays in the next three-to-six months, though that figure is still 1 percent higher than the month prior.
The analysis said this is due to an ongoing expectation among SMEs of economic “under-performance.”
Among a slew of mostly positive data, one of the key findings that stands out is that businesses are nearly all satisfied with their ability to access financing. Just 2 percent of SME owners said their needs are unmet – a record low for the survey, reports said.
[bctt tweet=”SMEs were nearly all satisfied with their ability to access financing in September”]
Plus, a new record-high of small businesses said that they did not want a loan (57 percent). While 5 percent of small businesses cited financing as their chief concern during the financial recession, in September, that figure dropped to just 1 percent.