- Small business optimism in Florida decreased by 0.6 percent in August, reaching a level of 91.3, which is below the 49-year average of 98, marking the 20th consecutive month of decline.
- Inflation remains the primary concern for Florida business owners, with 23 percent reporting it as their most significant issue. The net percentage of owners raising average selling prices increased to 27 percent, indicating inflationary pressures.
- Expectations for better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated significantly, while labor market challenges persisted and positive profit trends remained negative.
Small business optimism in Florida was down in August, marking a 0.6 percent downturn to 91.3, the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98. The most pertinent issue for business owners across the state continues to be inflationary cost rises.
Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important business problem, up two points from last month. The net percent of owners raising average selling prices increased two points to a net 27 percent (seasonally adjusted), still at an inflationary level.’
“With small business owners’ views about future sales growth and business conditions discouraging, owners want to hire and make money now from strong consumer spending,” said NFIB Research Center Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation and the worker shortage continue to be the biggest obstacles for Main Street.”
Moreover, small business owners’ expectations for better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated significantly, dropping by seven points from July to a net negative 37 percent. Labor market challenges also continue to persist, with 40 percent of small business owners reporting job openings that were hard to fill. The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher decreased by two points from July to a net negative 14 percent.
“Higher prices and a lack of qualified job candidates are affecting small businesses from the Panhandle to the Keys, and those factors almost certainly are going to impact the physical recovery along the path of Hurricane Idalia,” NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle said in the organization’s economic report.
NFIB’s report indicates that positive profit trends remained negative last month, with a net negative 25 percent of owners reporting favorable conditions. Among those reporting lower profits, 28 percent attributed it to weaker sales, 24 percent to the rising cost of materials, and 15 percent to labor costs.
On the financing front, just 2 percent of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied. The majority, 59 percent, expressed no interest in taking out loans. while a further 4 percent reported that their last loan was harder to obtain than in previous attempts.
However, 56 percent of small business owners reported making capital expenditures in the last six months, including spending on new equipment, vehicle acquisitions, and facility improvements. The trend represents a one-point increase from July and suggests a degree of confidence in investing in their businesses.