Skip to main content

Small-business index drops in March

After six months of gains, the Small-Business Optimism Index fell by almost two points in March, settling at 92.5, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents small businesses.

After a promising start to the year, nine of 10 index components dropped last month. Most notably, hiring plans and expected real sales growth each took a significant dive despite owners reporting the largest increase in new jobs per firm in a year.

“March came in like a lion, with Main Street seeing significant job growth in March, but it appears to have gone out like a lamb and with no cheer in the forward-looking labor market indicators. What could have been a trend in job growth is more likely a blip,” National Federation of Independent Business chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement.

“And what looked like the start of a recovery in profits fizzled out,” he added. “The mood of owners is subdued. They just can’t seem to shake off the uncertainties out there, and confidence that the management team in Washington can deal with them effectively is flagging. What we saw in March is painfully familiar. This was the same pattern of growth, followed by months of decline, from 2011. History appears to be repeating itself — and not in a good way.”

The percentage of owners reporting inflation as their No. 1 business problem is now at 9 percent, an increase from 6 percent in January. Reports of increases in average selling prices are rising and 21 percent of the owners plan to raise their selling prices in the coming months.

Click here for the full report.

Related

1_DEALER.OUTLOOK

Alleged Tournament Cheats Face Possible Legal Action

Approximately 8 pounds of lead was found stuffed inside fish entered into the contest by two men from Pennsylvania and an Ohio.

1_BOATHOUSE

The Boat House Group Announces Merger

The transaction will add two Wisconsin dealerships and several sales, storage and service locations to the group’s portfolio of properties.

1_GLBBS

GLBBS Breaks Ground on Tech Center

The Michigan-based marine trades school will commence construction of a 10,000-square-foot training facility in the second quarter of 2023.

1_AVIKUS

Avikus Debuts Autonomous Navigation

The company will demonstrate ‘Neuboat’, an autonomous phase-2 navigation solution for recreational boats at this year’s FLIBS.

1_IAN_ROUNDUP

Scope of Ian’s Devastation Emerges

Southwest Florida’s marine industry businesses are ensuring the welfare of their people well before the cleanup even begins.

1_MERCURY.MARINE

Mercury Marine Receives Environmental Award

The company was recognized in the large business sustainability category by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.