Small Business Economic Trends Report Reveals 42-Year High in One Component


Today’s release of the NFIB’s monthly look at the nation’s small-business economy is certain to raise eyebrows in one of the poll’s 10 components—The net percentage of small-business owners raising selling prices jumped six points to a net 59%, the highest reading since October 1979.

Other key findings included:

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased one point to a net negative 38%, tied for the 48-year record low reading. This indicator has declined 18 points over the past four months to its lowest reading since November 2012.
  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 54% of owners plan price hikes, up three points from October and a 48-year record high reading.
  • Forty-eight percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of one point from October.

“As the end of the year nears, the outlook for business conditions is not encouraging to small business owners as lawmakers propose additional mandates and tax increases,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Owners are also pessimistic as many continue managing challenges like rampant inflation and supply chain disruptions that are impacting their businesses right now.”

Chad Heinrich, NFIB’s state director, said, “Another overall grim look at the days ahead from the perspective of small-business owners. Price inflation, a lack of willing or qualified workers despite rising wages, and continued problems with supply chains are all issues bound to lead us into a downward spiral for small business financial health. For many small businesses, the fall holiday season is the time to turn a profit. The current headwinds facing small-business owners this yuletide season may not make for such a story in 2021. Each and every Arizonan has the opportunity to choose to support local small businesses this season and I hope they do.”

Released on the second Tuesday of every month, the NFIB Research Foundation has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since 1974 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are drawn from NFIB’s membership. Today’s survey was conducted in November. The data are a national snapshot not broken down by state.

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