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Small Business Surveys Point To Stabilizing Price, Job Outlook

The November NFIB survey suggests that things have neither gotten much better nor much worse for US small businesses over the past few months, following a tough summer. Overall it points to inflation and labor market pressures softening slightly, with sentiment and activity up from the summer lows but still subdued. See table below (from BBG).
  • The overall optimism index has been pretty steady for the past 4 months between 91.3-92.1, with uncertainty still elevated in November at 68 but off the summer highs (74 in Aug).
  • The percentage of small business owners expecting a better economy / higher sales / positive earnings remains net negative but off the summer's worst levels.
  • The labor situation appears to be easing a little as well (lower hiring intentions; fewer unable to fill positions; net compensation drifting weaker albeit with still-strong future expectations of compensation), while inflation passthrough is still very high with higher selling prices at 51% but below 60+% readings in summer.

Source: NFIB, Compiled By BBG

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