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NFIB Report Shows Small Business Optimism Retreating

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) releases a monthly survey of small business owners. This "Small Business Economic Trend" report for the month of April 2017 shows that the optimism that immediately followed the US election is retreating.

Headline number came in at 104.7 after a 105.3 reading in March.

NFIB index for the last 10 years:

(courtesy of

The historical trend of the index shows that it was lowest at the beginning of the Obama administration, but crawled back up. However, the big jump occurred after the US election put Donald Trump in office. 

A big factor is the potential repeal of Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA). The surge in optimism is retreating slightly because of the uncertainty of the fate of the ACA so far in the Trump administration. 

Other than this uncertainty, small businesses are for the most part holding on to their optimism.

The report comments:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare, was a predictable failed experiment. Sadly, after seven years since it’s passage, the ACA “details” are still being “written” by the bureaucrats. Debate in the house marked by serious doubts among republicans and severe opposition by democrats and too little leadership from the White House. The health care vote in the house repairs some of that dynamic but remains to be seen how small business owners will respond to these efforts in next month’s survey.

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