The National Federal of Independent Business reported Tuesday that conditions improved for its members in April, but the organization called it another disappointing month for small businesses.
The group’s monthly index ticked up 2.6 points to 92.1. The NFIB said April was a “ho hum, yawn, at least it didn’t go down” month. It blamed the malaise it sees in small business as a product of “paralysis” in Washington, “mixed news” on the economy, and what it calls “terrifying” monetary policy.
“Nothing in the NFIB data suggests that the small business half of the economy is growing other than by an amount driven by population growth and associated new business starts now in excess of terminations,” the report said.
For all that grim talk, there was generally good news in the sub-indexes of the report. The job creation index was up by 6 points, while inventories gained ground. There was a 13-point jump in firms’ expectations of business activity over the next six months. There was also an 8-point jump in expectations of higher real sales. Only two readings–capital outlays and credit conditions–showed small declines.