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US small business optimism improves in July

Optimism among small business owners in the U.S. rebounded in July after slipping in June, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey.

The NFIB's small business optimism index increased from 107.2 in June to 107.9 in July, slightly below the record high of 108 in July 1983.

"Expansion continues to be a priority for small businesses who show no signs of slowing as they anticipate more sales and better business conditions," NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said.

Small business owners continued to report strong profit and sales, with a seasonally adjusted net 8% of owners reporting higher nominal sales in the past three months compared to the prior three months. The percentage of owners who expect business conditions to improve increased by 2 points from June to a net 35%.

The percentage of owners who plan capital outlays in the next few months edged up 1 point from June to 30%, while the percentage of those who reported capital outlays fell by 1 point to 58%. The percentage of small businesses which plan to create new jobs increased by 3 points from June to 23%, while the percentage of those who reported unfilled job openings edged up by 1 point to 37%.