New data shows that small business owners’ confidence in the U.S. economy continues on the upswing. Reports said Tuesday (Sept. 8) that the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) revealed the latest stats from its Small Business Optimism Index, which presented a picture of consistent SME confidence for the month of August.
In a survey of 656 small businesses, the NFIB found SME optimism to have risen by half a point last month, moving up to 95.9. Researchers, however, noted that while the increase suggests small businesses were not too concerned by the major market slides in recent weeks in response to China’s economic struggles, the majority of the interviews with small business owners occurred before China’s stock market plunge that reverberated across global markets in late August.
Still, analysts said the modest uptick in small business confidence signals a steady growth of the U.S. economy. Five of the 10 indexes used to set the score saw an increase among small businesses; three declined, and two remained unchanged, reports said.
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In particular, small business owners’ optimism about sales improved, while their outlook on whether they should plan expansions declined. Optimism also declined regarding SMEs’ vision for the next six months.
The businesses surveyed did not report any change in their optimism when it comes to inventory investment or working capital, reports added.
The figures followed recent declines in small business optimism that hit a 15-month low last June, according to the Small Business Optimism Index. The trend saw a reversal in July, however, when seven of the 10 indexes rose. In contrast, nine of the indexes saw declines in June.
A continued increase in optimism also follows the latest data from the CAN Capital Storefront Business Index, which reported a nearly 2.9 percent year-over-year gain among storefront businesses in the first half of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.