US small business optimism creeps forward in April
Small business optimism improved throughout the month of April, increasing by 1.7 points to 103.5, with one index component falling, another unchanged and the remaining eight improving.
March's soft spot in inventories improved and profit trends posted a very solid advance, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, as labour market indicators improved, with a solid gain in job creation plans and continued reports of strong hiring.
Expectations for sales, business conditions and credit conditions all improved, while inflation pressures remained subdued, although reports of gains in compensation were at historically high levels.
"Overall, the index remains at a historically very strong level, consistent with solid growth, keeping the economy at full employment. There is no recession in sight this year," said the NFIB.
While the index is considered a third-tier indicator, it indicated that both businesses and consumers were still relatively confident about the outlook of the US economy last month.
Pantheon Macroeconomics' chief economist Ian Shepherdson said: "The jump in the headline index likely is the lagged response to the rebound in stock prices in the first few months of the year; the expectations components of the survey are very sensitive to market movements and all three - economy, own firm sales, and earnings - rose in April."