WASHINGTON May 13 U.S. small business sentiment
jumped to its highest level in 6-1/2 years in April, which
should bolster hopes of an acceleration in economic activity in
the second quarter.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on
Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index rose 1.8 points to
95.2 last month, the highest reading since October 2007, when
the economy was on the cusp of its worst recession since the
"April's reading took the index to a post-recession high and
a recovery high level," the NFIB said in a statement.
It adds to data such as employment and surveys on the
manufacturing and services industries that have shown the
economy regaining steam early in the second quarter after growth
braked abruptly in the first three months of the year.
Seven of the index's 10 components advanced, with gains in
job creation plans and the share of businesses optimistic about
earnings. There also was an increase in the share of businesses
raising inventories, which was one of the drags on first-quarter
More owners reported they could not find qualified workers
to fill open positions, which is leading to higher wages.
"Inflation will begin to pick up because reports of higher
compensation are growing in frequency and these costs will be
recovered in higher prices," the NFIB said.
Almost a quarter of businesses reported raising prices in
April. Another 25 percent plan to increase their prices over the
next few months.
"Reports of increases in average selling prices have
accelerated sharply in the last few months, reaching the highest
level since 2011," said the NFIB.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)