Despite Post-Election Spike In Optimism, Small Business Owners Have Never Been More 'Uncertain'

Small Business Optimism was "basically unchanged from October's reading up to the point of the election and then rose dramatically after the results of the election were known," according to NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. In fact the surge was the sharpest since 2009 as the balance of those who thought business conditions would improve exploded from -6 to +38. However, actual sales continue to decline and "business uncertainty" has never been higher.

As Bloomberg reports, "Small businesses like unified Republican government," said Neil Dutta, head of U.S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC, who highlighted that the NFIB's index fell in November 2012 — when Obama won re-election — but recorded a solid rise in November 2004 after voters granted George W. Bush a second term.

However, the vast majority of segments that showed improvements in November's survey were forward-looking in nature; on both actual sales and earnings changes, the balance of opinion remained steeply negative.

As optimism soars, actual employment declined...

 

And as actual sales tumble, so hope for future sales soars...

 

But while hope soars, cluelessness about the future is at a record high...

 

So to summarize - Small Business Owners are suffering from dismal sales but are extremely hopeful about the future, though admittedly have no idea whatsoever what it holds...