US small business owners gained confidence in April

US small business owners gained confidence in April, according to a report released Tuesday.

Hiring activity also increased and most were bullish about capital expenditure plans. When people feel ‘bullish’ it means they expect things to rise.

The National Federation of Independent Business’s small-business optimism index increased to 96.9 in April from 95.2 in March – the largest gain since December.

According to The Wall Street Journal, economists projected the index to increase, but only to 96.1.

According to Reuters, Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York, said:

”A fairly positive tone. The data add to the evidence that the weakening in growth in first quarter was largely due to ‘transitory’ factors,”



 

With the exception of sales, 9 out of the 10 NFIB subindex’s 9 components rose last month.

The NFIB said despite the turmoil in the energy sector, “the shale states exhibited stronger capital spending and hiring than the rest.”

In the three months ended in April, small businesses hired, on average, 0.14 worker per firm, “continuing a string of solid readings for 2015” the NFIB said.

Business Finance

The results also indicate that the US economy is out of it’s winter slump.

Hiring remains upbeat, with the subindex covering plans to add new jobs up 1 percentage point to 11% in April.

However, many small businesses said that they couldn’t find qualified workers. The subindex covering jobs that are hard to fill climbed up to 27% in April from 24% in March.

The only subindex to drop was sales. There was a drop in sales expectations among small business owners in April. The index dropped 3 points to 10%.

In the three months ended in April, the 2 percent of owners who raised selling prices.

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