A measure of business owner optimism reached a new high in September and remained that way in October, according to a report from the National Federation of Independent Business.
The NFIB Optimism Index remained at 104.0 in October, unchanged from the previous month. The NFIB says it is a historically high reading.
However, the trade association says there is also a six-point increase in the NFIB Uncertainty Index. The survey was conducted prior to the November election.
“Indiana entrepreneurs are used to making tough decisions. They’re resilient and have been doing the best they can to grapple with the coronavirus,” said NFIB State Director in Indiana Barbara Quandt. “However, as this latest survey shows, what they really need right now is some certainty. Congress can do that for them with another round of stimulus.”
Quandt says the uncertainty index was likely driven by the election and uncertain conditions in future months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and possible government-mandated shutdowns.
The uncertainty reading was the highest reading since November 2016.
NFIB says there were some positive readings, including earnings trends returning to pre-COVID levels.
The organization says small businesses have continued to see improvements in foot traffic and sales with a net 6% of all owners (seasonally adjusted) reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months.
“If we want to recover from this pandemic, we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can for small business owners, who are building blocks of Indiana’s economy,” said Quandt.
Click here to view the NFIB Small Business Economic Trends Survey.