The NFIB small business "pessimism" index has been stuck in the doldrums since the recession as these companies continue to report lackluster business confidence.
However the retirement accounts of small business employees (which includes the owners) tell a somewhat different story. A recent report from Fidelity found increased IRA/401K contributions vs. last year and significantly larger balances since the recession (based on over 200,000 accounts):
This is telling us that US small business confidence is actually improving in spite of the overall NFIB indicator. And even the recent NFIB print is showing signs of life with what Wells Fargo called "a strong gain in sales expectations".
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