Utah Comment on Today’s Release of Latest Optimism Index

Date: January 11, 2022

Add soaring inflation to the list of pandemic-related economic maladies

Contact: Casey Hill, Utah State Director, casey@lincolnhill.com
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, anthony.malandra@nfib.org

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 11, 2022—The release today of NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends report (aka the Optimism Index) showed the return of an old nemesis in a big way—Inflation!

“As if historic highs in labor shortages – in spite of record highs in compensation being offered – and supply chain disruptions were not enough for small-business owners to deal with, now comes the return of inflation at a level we haven’t seen in decades,” said Casey Hill, Utah state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

“Utah’s small businesses will weather the storm better than other states because of smart economic policies we put in place, policies we hope will withstand the excesses of the Build Back Better Act, should it come to fruition.”

The NFIB Research Center has collected Small Business Economic Trends data with quarterly surveys since the 4th quarter of 1973 and monthly surveys since 1986. Survey respondents are randomly drawn from NFIB’s membership. The report is released on the second Tuesday of each month. This survey was conducted in December 2021.

From NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg

“Small businesses unfortunately saw a disappointing December jobs report, with staffing issues continuing to impact their ability to be fully productive. Inflation is at the highest level since the 1980’s and is having an overwhelming impact on owners’ ability to manage their businesses.”

Key Findings from Today’s SBET

  • Twenty-two percent report inflation as the single most important problem operating their business, a 20-point increase from the beginning of 2021 and the highest level since Q4 1981.

  • Owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased three points to a net negative 35%. Owners remain pessimistic about future economic conditions as this indicator has declined 23 points over the past six months.

  • Forty-nine percent of owners reported job openings that could not be filled, an increase of one point from November.

Keep up with the latest on Utah small-business news at www.nfib.com/utah.


For 78 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.

Salt Lake City, UT


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