Small Business Optimism Up in April
Fifth Positive Sequential Monthly Gain
The April report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows increasing optimism among business owners, although many still have concerns about a consistent economic recovery. NFIB's latest Index of Small Business Optimism rose 2.6 points to 92.1, just above the recovery average of 90.7. April was a positive month for job creation, as small employers reported increasing employment. This is the fifth positive sequential monthly gain. The net percent of all owners reporting higher nominal sales in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the fourth quarter of 2012 rose three points. This is the best reading in 10 months.
Earnings trends have been on an upward trajectory, as higher compensation was reported by 19% of small employers. A net 9% of owners plan to raise compensation in the coming months. “I think business has no place but up, and even warm leads are becoming hot,” says Nina Shatz, director at Red Ball Promotions (asi/346567). “Vendors have been putting out some great deals to help us sell, so it's a win for everyone.” However, Shatz is concerned about keeping momentum going throughout the summer, when things often slow down.
Noel Garcia, managing director for Counselor Top 40 distributor Boundless Network (asi/143717), has also seen business on the uptick. He's pleased with his sales, as he's seeing a healthy increase from 2012. "Our company saw a 23% revenue growth from Q1 2012," he says. "However, I think we still need to be cautious. There are plenty of reasons we could easily slip back into a recession. In the advertising specialty space, we need to continue to get creative with adding more value to our clients and capturing some opportunities outside of our traditional business."