Latest data released by NFIB - 11 May 2021

A little off estimates but the reading is still a five-month high as optimism among small businesses grew, driven by better sales expectations and improving earnings trends.

Of note, the report also revealed a significant increase (10 points) in the share of firms that raised prices to 36.0 - its highest since the 1980s. Meanwhile, planned price increases also jumped to its highest since 2008 in another sign that inflation is picking up.

Adding to that is still some softness in the labour market with a record 44% of firms saying that they were unable to fill open positions and that stunted potential sales growth.

That comes despite 31% of firms saying that they boosted worker compensation - which represents the largest share in more than a year.