THE BASIS POINT

Small Businesses Remain Optimistic

Chain Store Sales (week ended 9/8/2012)
– ICSC-Goldman Store Sales, Week/Week +1.0%. Previous was -0.4%
– ICSC-Goldman Store Sales, Year/Year +3.4%. Previous was +3.7%

– Redbook Store Sales, Year/Year +2.7%. Previous was +2.5%.

– The previous week’s ICSC data was affected by the hurricane in the SE.

International Trade  (July 2012)
– The monthly Trade Deficit was $42.0 billion up from June’s revised $41.9 billion.

– Particular attention must be paid to exports.  Because of the likelihood of recession in the EU and slowing growth in Asia exports will slow and this will adversely affect US GDP and jobs.

– The next trade deficit will be larger as oil prices are up.

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (August 2012)
– Level was 92.9 up from the previous 91.2. 

– While this is a survey index rather than one comprised of hard data it is nonetheless important.  Small businesses are the seeds larger businesses and the key to jobs growth.