Small business optimism rose in January to its highest level since 2004, according to the Index of Small Business Optimism, released monthly by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
The index reached 105.9 in January, an increase of 0.1 points since December. The increase follows the largest month-over-month increase in the survey’s history following the election. Five of the index components increased and five decreased, but many remained near their record highs, according to a release from the NFIB.
Job openings and job creation plans both posted small gains. At the same time, the percent of owners planning capital outlays fell two points to 27 percent. Owners expecting better business conditions and better sales also dipped slightly, but according to NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg, the high readings support expectations of actual spending.
“The stunning climb in optimism after the election was significantly improved in December and confirmed in January,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan in a release announcing the index numbers. “Small business owners like what they see so far from Washington.”
State-specific data isn't available, but NFIB State Director Tom Underwood said the national trends are reflected in Kentucky. “There's no doubt that small-business owners are encouraged by what they're hearing," he said.