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9 April 2019 Small Business Sentiment Ought to be Rebounding Capex Plans too (Publication Centre)

The recovery in small business sentiment since the fourth quarter rollover has been extremely modest, so far.

2 July. 2015 Strong Jobs Numbers a Decent Bet, but Reasons for Caution too (Publication Centre)

Most of the indicators we follow point to another very strong payroll report today; we look for a 260K gain, matching May's performance. The best single leading indicator, the NFIB small business hiring intentions number, points to a massive 320K leap in private payrolls, as our first chart shows.

14 March 2017 Small Firms are Happy, but When Will Their Capex Plans Pick up? (Publication Centre)

Small businesses remain extremely positive about the economy, but some of the post-election gloss appears to be wearing off. To be clear, the headline composite index of small business sentiment and activity in February, due this morning, will be much higher than immediately before the election, but a modest correction seems likely after January's 12- year high.

9 August. 2016 NFIB Survey Signals Better Non-Oil Business Capex as Soon as Q3 (Publication Centre)

The headline NFIB index of small business activity and sentiment in July likely will be little changed from June--we expect a half-point dip, while the consensus forecast is for a repeat of June's 94.5--but what we really care about is the capex intentions componen

10 Feb. 2015 Small Firms are Back in Business, But They Can't Find Staff (Publication Centre)

The headline index in today's NFIB small business survey probably won't quite converge with the ISM manufacturing index, but it will come v ery close. To close the gap completely, for the first time since the crash, the NFIB needs to rise to just over 102, from 100.4.

29 September 2017 China's Pending Targeted RRR cut Implies SMEs are Struggling (Publication Centre)

China is set to ease reserve requirements for banks lending to small businesses. In a statement after the State Council meeting yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang said that commercial banks would receive a cut in their RRR , from 17% currently, based on how much they lend to businesses run by individuals.

9 January 2018 Small Business Owners are Happy, so Why are Capex Plans Soft? (Publication Centre)

We already know that the month-to-month movements in the key labor market components of the December NFIB small business survey were mixed; the data were released last week, ahead the official employment report, as usual.

11 July 2017 Small Businesses are Still Optimistic, but a Correction is Due (Publication Centre)

Before last November's election, movements in the headline NFIB index of activity and sentiment among small businesses could be predicted quite reliably from shifts in the key labor market components, which are released in advance of the main survey.

12 July 2017 BoJ's Curve Targeting is More Stimulatory than Base Targeting (Publication Centre)

Japanese M2 growth increased trivially in June to 3.9% year-on-year from 3.8% in May, significantly higher than the 3.2% rate in August, before the BoJ began targeting the yield curve.

9 July 2018 No Tariff Hit in the Payroll Numbers Yet, but Some Surveys are Wobbling (Publication Centre)

The recent softening in the ISM employment indexes failed to make itself felt in the June payroll numbers, which sailed on serenely even as tariff-induced chaos intensified at the industry and company level.

13 February 2019 Few Near-Term Upside Risks to Core Inflation Medium-Term Threat Rising (Publication Centre)

The odds favor--just--an end to the three-month streak of solid 0.2% increases in the core CPI with the release of today's January report.

12 September 2018 Mortgage Demand Spiked in August, but Expect a Weak Fall (Publication Centre)

The key piece of evidence supporting our view that housing market activity has peaked for this cycle is the softening trend--until recently--in applications for new mortgages to finance house purchase.

12 February 2019 The Details Matter Much More than the NFIB Survey's Headline Index (Publication Centre)

We're very interested in the detail of today's January NFIB survey; the headline index, not so much.

13 Jan. 2015 - Small Business Sector on the Brink of Normalization (Publication Centre)

Within the next few month, and perhaps as soon as next month, the gap between the headline NFIB and ISM manufacturing indexes, shown in our first chart, will close for the first time since late 2008.

4 Nov. 2015 ADP Tells Us Payrolls Mean- Revert, but That's Not News (Publication Centre)

The underlying trend in payroll growth ought to be running at 250K-plus, based on an array of indicators of the pace of both hiring and firing. The past few months' numbers have fallen far short of this pace, though, for reasons which are not yet clear. We are inclined to blame a shortage of suitably qualified staff, not least because that appears to be the message from the NFIB survey, which shows that the proportion of small businesses with unfilled positions is now close to the highs seen in previous cycles. If we're right, payroll growth won't return to the 254K average recorded in 2014 until the next cyclical upturn, but quite what to expect instead is anyone's guess.

8 August 2017 Watch the NFIB Survey for Clues to Job Growth, Capex and Inflation (Publication Centre)

The NFIB survey of small businesses today will show that July hiring intentions jumped by four points to +19, the highest level since November 2006. The NFIB survey has been running since 1973, and the hiring intentions index has never been sustained above 20.

8 May 2018 Small Firms' Sentiment Likely has Weakened Further, but no Disaster (Publication Centre)

We're looking forward to today's April NFIB survey of activity and sentiment in the small business sector with some trepidation.

25 June. 2015 When Will Small Firms Run Out of Labor Market Insiders to Hire? (Publication Centre)

The high and rising proportion of small businesses reporting difficulty in filling job openings is perhaps the biggest reason to worry that the pace of wage increases could accelerate quickly. If they pick up too far, the Fed's intention to raise rates at a "gradual" pace will be upended. The NFIB survey of small businesses--mostly very small--shows employers are having as much trouble recruiting staff as at the peak of the boom in 2006.

11 September 2018 Business Owners Bullish, but Where's the Capex (Publication Centre)

If you had only the NFIB survey of small businesses as your guide to the state of the business sector, you'd be blissfully unaware that the economic commentariat right now is obsessed with the potential hit from the trade tariffs, actual and threatened.

12 May. 2015 Small firms in better shape than NFIB suggests - Rebound due (Publication Centre)

On the face of it, small business have taken quite a hit over the past few months. The headline index from the NFIB survey of small businesses has dropped to a nine-month low of 95.2 in March from 100.4 in December. As a result, the gap between the NFIB and the ISM manufacturing indexes, which had been narrowing, has widened again.

11 April 2017 Why are Small Firms' Capex Plans so Soft even as Sentiment Soars? (Publication Centre)

Nowhere is the gap between sentiment and activity wider than in the NFIB survey of small businesses. The economic expectations component leaped by an astonishing 57 points between October and December, but the capex intentions index rose by only two points over the same period, and it has since slipped back. In February, the capex intentions index stood at 26, compared to an average of 27.3 in the three months to October.

10 Mar. 2015 Can the Uptick in New Home Sales be Sustained? (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from today's February NFIB report on small businesses--hiring intentions and the proportion of firms with unfilled job openings--were released last week, as usual, ahead of the official jobs report.

10 April 2018 Falling Stock Prices Threaten NFIB Headlines, Labor Data Strong (Publication Centre)

It's probably too soon to expect to see a meaningful reaction in the NFIB small business survey to the drop in stock prices, but it likely is coming, and a hit in today's March report can't be ruled out entirely.

27 Oct. 2015 Capital Goods Orders are Stabilizing, at Least - Oil Hit Fading (Publication Centre)

The durable goods numbers were among the first short-term indicators to warn clearly of the hit to manufacturing from the rollover in oil sector capex, which began last fall. The trend in core capital goods orders was rising strongly before oil firms began to cut back, with the year-over-year rate peaking at 11.9% in September. Leading capex indicators in the small business sector remained quite robust, but just nine months later, core capex orders were down 6.4% year-over-year, following annualized declines of more than 14% in both the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of this year.

12 September 2017 NFIB Labor Indicators Still Very Strong, Despite August Dips (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from the monthly NFIB survey of small businesses are released ahead of the main report, due today.

09 Feb. 2016 NFIB Survey Components are More Important than the Headline (Publication Centre)

The headline number in today's NFIB survey of small businesses probably will look soft. The index is sensitive to the swings in the stock market and we'd be surprised to see no response to the volatility of recent weeks. We also know already that the hiring intentions number dropped by four points, reversing December's gain, because the key labor market numbers are released in advance, the day before the official payroll report.

14 November 2017 NFIB Survey set to Rebound After the Hurricane Hit, Capex Strong? (Publication Centre)

The minutes of the September 19/20 FOMC meeting record that "...it was noted that the National Federation of Independent Business reported that greater optimism among small businesses had contributed to a sharp increase in the proportion of small firms planning increases in their capital expenditures."

14 July. 2015 Did Retail Sales Stutter In June after May's Strength? (Publication Centre)

We are a bit uneasy about today's data on economic activity. The NFIB index of activity in the small business sector is likely to undershoot consensus expectations, while retail sales are something of a black hole, at least at the core level, where we have no reliable month-to-month advance indicators. Our bullish view on the underlying state of the economy, and its likely second-half performance, hasn't changed, but perceptions count in the short-term and these reports will help set the market mood just ahead of Chair Yellen's Testimony tomorrow.

13 December. 2016 Today's NFIB Labor Data are not New, but they are Important (Publication Centre)

The falling unemployment rate and the threat it poses to the inflation outlook mean that the labor market numbers in the NFIB small business survey attract more attention than the other data in the report.

13 September. 2016 Will the NFIB Survey Point to Stronger Non-mining Capex? (Publication Centre)

The key labor market numbers from today's August NFIB survey of small businesses have already been released--they appear a day or two before the employment report--but they will be reported as though they are news. The headline hiring intentions reading dipped to nine from 12, leaving it near the bottom of the range of the past couple of years.

Question of the Week, WC 11th June (Media Centre)

Are there any signs that the U.S. tax cuts and/or regulatory relaxation are stimulating increased non-residential fixed investment?

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