As we noted in an earlier post, this morning’s release of the NFIB Small Business Survey showed fewer and fewer respondents observing price increases. Similarly, while still high, fewer respondents to the survey are reporting inflation as their biggest problem.  While the issue remains historically elevated and the predominant issue for small businesses, the percentage of respondents reporting inflation as their biggest issue fell to 26% in January. That compared to a peak of 37% last summer.  As shown below, this reading still has a long way to fall to get back to pre-COVID norms, but at least it’s trending in the right direction.

In the table below, we break down the percentage of small business respondents that reported various issues as their most pressing this month.  As mentioned above, inflation remains the single most commonly reported issue and that reading is also the most elevated with regards to its historical range.  However, the six point decline month over month ranks in the bottom 1% of all month over month moves.  At the same time, fewer respondents reported costs of insurance to be an issue.  Government requirements and red tape also pulled back, albeit that was offset with a 4 percentage point jump (a 95 percentile month over month move) in the share reporting taxes as their biggest issue.  When it comes to “poor sales,” only 4% of small businesses listed this as their number one problem — the same level it was at last month and in the bottom percentile of all readings in the survey’s history.  When it comes to recessionary indicators, we would expect small businesses to list “poor sales” as their number one problem when things really start to slow down, and that simply hasn’t happened yet. Click here to learn more about Bespoke’s premium stock market research service.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email