October 16, 2017

This Week’s Top Economic Data Points: Small Business Owners Less Optimistic About Future Growth

  • The National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index declined to 103 in September from 105.3 in August. The NFIB said the drop was due to increased pessimism about future sales figures. Additionally, the number of owners who think that it’s a good time to expand dropped a net 10 points.
  • According to the U.S. Labor Department, 243,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended Oct. 7, down 15,000 from the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also declined. The number of individuals who continued to file for benefits also dropped, falling to 1.889 million for the week that ended Sept. 30. The continuing claims figure was at its lowest level since December 1973. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined. In other labor-related news: there was 6.1 million jobs open in the United States at the end of August.
  • In other economic news: the U.S. Consumer Price Index rose 0.5 percent between August 2017 and September 2017 and 2.2 percent between September 2016 and September 2017; the U.S. Producer Price Index increased 0.4 percent between August and September and 2.6 percent year-over-year; real average hourly earnings in the United States fell 0.1 percent from August to September, but were up 0.7 percent from September 2016 to September 2017.