Small business optimism continues to climb post-election, with slight increases in the number of companies planning to create jobs and hire, according to the latest data from the National Federation of Independent Business, a conservative lobbying group. The numbers still look good for Main Street, although it would help to have more clarity from the new administration on its policies.
The NFIB's monthly read on sentiment for January was 105.9, an increase of .1 points from the report at the end of 2016 and 7.9 points higher than the average of 98. That's a high not seen since December of 2004. This month's data also follows the largest month-over-month increase in the survey's history of 7.4 points to 105.8.
Overall, five of the index components increased and five decreased, although many held near their record highs.
Job openings and job creation plans both showed movement, which NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg says could signal higher GDP growth in the year to come. He adds that the growth in optimism appears similar to a surge in positive sentiment seen in 1983, which was followed by years of economic growth.
"Congress now has the opportunity to undo harmful, anti-growth policies. For small-business owners, the success or failure to produce positive results will be reflected in future reports measuring small business optimism and their hiring and spending activity," Dunkelberg writes in the report.