Small Business Holds Steady On Capital Spending

Capital spending over the past six months has remained strong, with 62% of all firms reporting outlays, a decline of only one point from December according to the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) Small-Business Economic Trends report. Looking at specific categories of company spending:

  • 46% purchased new equipment
  • 25% acquired vehicles
  • 13% improved or expanded facilities
  • 15% spent on new fixtures and furniture
  • 8% acquired new buildings or land.

Leading the capital spending parade were wholesale trades (49%), manufacturers (40%) and agricultural firms (37%). Those planning capital expenditures early in the year fell a point to 32% of all firms. The number of those who view the current period as a good time to expand facilities slipped a point from December to 20%.

A net 6% expect business conditions to improve over the next six months, down six points. A net 24% expect higher real sales in the next three months, up three points from December.

The January Small-Business Optimism Index declined only three-tenths of a point to 101.1 (1986=100). Overall, the survey anticipates a solid quarter of growth with tightening labor markets and little new pressure on prices.

To view an analysis of the report visit

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