As the stock market soars to record levels, small-business owners remain pessimistic—but slightly less so, according to the April Index of Small Business Optimism released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The April index shows that optimism rose 2.6 points from March, to 92.1 in April, on a scale in which 100 represents the level of optimism among small-business owners in 1986 and 90.7 is the average score during the recent recovery.
A net 6 percent of respondents reported having plans to increase employment, and 49 percent said they have hired to tried to hire within the past three months. However, only 4 percent said that this is a good time to expand their business.
Thirty-one percent of respondents said all their credit needs are being met, and only 6 percent reported that their credit needs are not met. Exactly half of all respondents said they do not want a loan, while 13 percent didn’t answer that question.
“Small-business confidence saw an uptick this last month, but it was a ho hum, yawn, at-least-it-didn’t-go-down reading,” says NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “The sub-par recovery persists for the small-business sector.”