Tuesday's report on Small Business Optimism from the NFIB showed a slight increase from last month, rising to 93.8 relative to expectations of 93.6. While the index has now increased for two straight months, it follows what was the largest peak to trough decline of the current economic cycle. Additionally, at its current level of 93.8, the NFIB index of small business optimism remains well below its long-term average of 96.0. Perhaps the NFIB summed it up best in their release when they said, "The Index of Small Business Optimism increased 0.2 points to 93.8, positive but don't start writing home about it."
The table below shows what small business owners consider to be their number one problem. Topping the list this month, as it usually does, is Taxes at 23%. That's up from 21% in April, and it's the highest reading since June 2015. While Taxes are becoming an increasingly large problem, Government Red Tape dropped to 18% from 20%. The biggest increase this month was Poor Sales, which was cited by 14% of all respondents and tied for its highest reading since April 2014.