Main Street Monday – Main Street Inventory Highest in Three Years

January 31, 2022

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Main Street Monday – Main Street Inventory Highest in Three Years

“The outlook for the economy near-term must be pretty good as the demand for labor and for inventories is at historic high levels, obviously needed to take advantage of current sales opportunities. But the outlook for the economy in the first half of 2022 is quite negative, in part due to the policy confusion in Washington and in 50 states over Covid and potential tax increases,” reads the NFIB’s December Small Business Economic Trends Report.

Here are the facts:

Small Business Optimism Index

• The NFIB Optimism Index increased by half a point to 98.9.
• Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months did increase three points in December, but it remains at a net -35%.

Labor Markets

• 49% of small business owners reported having job openings that they were unable to fill. The number of unfilled job positions remains far above the 48-year historical average of 23%.
• 28% of owners are planning on creating new jobs in the next three months, up three points since November.
• 31% of owners reported that there were few qualified applicants for their open positions, and 26% of owners shared that there were no qualified applicants.

Supply Chain

• A net 7% of small business owners are reporting inventory increases during the last three months. This has been the highest reading since January 2019.
• 9% of owners view their current inventory stocks as too low, down 6 points from November.

Sales & Prices

• Up three points since November, 1% of all owners reported higher nominal sales in the past three months.
• A net 3% of owners are expecting higher sales during the next three months.
• 57% of small business owners shared that their prices are higher compared to three months ago, down 2% from November.
• Down 5% from the previous month, 49% of small business owners plan on increasing prices in the next three months.

December NFIB Report