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NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Hits New Low at Trader’s Narrative

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.6 points to 85.2 in December 2008:

nfib small business optimism index chart Jan 2009

This is an aggregate measure of 10 indicators: outlook for expansion, earnings, sales, and hiring. Amazingly, the net percentage of small business owners planning to hire is -6%. That scrapes the bottom of the barrel and is analogous to the recession we saw back in the 1970’s (not shown on graph).

Small businesses are often been touted as the engine of the US economy. From this survey it is obvious that the engine is flat out junked. These numbers are as bad as we’ve ever seen them in modern history.

The NFIB survey complements the other sentiment readings we’ve been getting from other sources such as the Conference Board Consumer Confidence and the State Street Investor Confidence Index.

You can get more information and download the full report at the NFIB site.

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