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The Weekly Brief

Contributor Global Markets Insights Strategy Team

Amongst the geopolitical noise in recent weeks, economic data for the US continues to signal that the US is on firm footing.

The NFIB small business optimism index, a survey of small independent businesses, reached 107.9 – the second highest level in its history and just 0.1 below the record high set in 1983. The survey suggests that businesses are increasingly optimistic about higher future sales and improving conditions for business activity. While it is clear that businesses are benefitting from the strength of the US economy as well as fiscal tailwinds, these high levels of optimism suggest the economy is in the later part of the cycle. While the data remains strong equities should be well supported, but investors should seek a balanced and diversified portfolio at this stage in the cycle.

NFIB Small business optimism hits second highest level
Index level



Source: NFIB, Thomson Reuters Datastream, J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Periods of “recession” are defined using NBER business cycle dates. Data as of 17 August 2018.
The Weekly Brief (20 August 2018)

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