The Good News That Most Investors Overlook

By John Mauldin via

If you read mainstream financial news, you don’t need me to tell you how bad our economy is. Skepticism abounds in the punditry. But sometimes we get so busy worrying about negative things that we ignore positive things happening right here and now. That’s not healthy and can make us overlook investment opportunities. So today, I’ll look at some good economic news that has been lost in the noise lately.

Small Business Is as Optimistic as Ever

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has been surveying its small business members since 1973. The NFIB data is a rich, long-term history of small business owner sentiment, both positive and negative. It has varied over time, as you might expect.

Presently, its index is near its most optimistic level ever—0.1% below the 1983 all-time high. Considering where we were a few years ago, that is amazing.

The other peak was in 1983. The Volcker Fed had mostly stamped out inflation while Reagan’s tax cuts and deregulation were beginning to bear fruit. This marked a boom period that would last even longer. The next recession would not strike until mid-1990.

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. This time, the Fed has been working to stamp out deflation, not inflation. It appears to have made some progress.

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