NFIB: Expectations for Better Business conditions in next six months hits a record low

MADISON (April 15, 2022) – The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased in March by 2.4 points to 93.2, the third consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98. Thirty-one percent of owners reported that inflation was the single most important problem in their business, up five points from February and the highest reading since the first quarter of 1981. Inflation has now replaced “labor quality” as the number one problem.

“Many Wisconsin small businesses are struggling in the from of record high inflation, labor shortages, and rising gas prices. These latest economic trends report from NFIB shows that small business owners continue to be frustrated while facing serious economic challenges here in Wisconsin in the form of paying higher prices for good and services. Ultimately, that to lead to more mom-and-pop shops closing their doors,” said Bill G. Smith, NFIB State Director in Wisconsin.

“This latest small business survey shows that small business owners continue to be frustrated by the economy, which could have dire consequences for everyone here in Wisconsin in the form of higher prices for good and services and more mom-and-pop shops ultimately shutting their doors.”

Key findings from NFIB’s latest survey include:

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months decreased 14 points to a net negative 49%, the lowest level recorded in the 48-year-old survey.
  • Forty-seven percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, a decrease of one point from February.
  • The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased four points to a net 72% (seasonally adjusted), the highest reading in the survey’s history.

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the 4th quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are randomly drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. This survey was conducted in March 2022.