Bloomberg by the Numbers: 95.2

The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index rose to 95.2 last month, a post-recession high.

The index improved from 93.4 in March to its highest level since 2007, before a credit crisis took hold.

While the NFIB index crept upward for the second consecutive month, it’s still about five points below the historical average from 1973 to 2008.

“It’s clear that small business is not carrying its historical weight in the growth of the economy,” William Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, said yesterday on Bloomberg Radio.

“Looking at the positive side, I don’t think we can squeeze a whole lot more out of the big businesses, maybe, for growth,” he said. “But there’s certainly a lot of potential to get the small business half growing, and if that happens, we can have some really nice GDP numbers and some really better employment numbers.”

The gross domestic product, grew at a 0.1 percent annualized rate in the first three months of this year, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the prior quarter, according to the Commerce Department.

While the labor and housing markets are improving along with consumer sentiment, the economy “still requires a strong dose of stimulus five years after the recession ended because unemployment and inflation are well short of the Fed’s goals, according to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen,” Bloomberg’s Shobhana Chandra reported yesterday.

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