U.S. businesses added jobs at a stronger pace in April 2014 compared to March, driven by significant employment gains in the retail and manufacturing segments. At the same time, the decline in D&B’s Small Business Health Index slowed considerably, indicating strengthening in the small business sector. Additionally, overall U.S. business health continued to improve in April, according to the U.S. Business Health Index, signaling a lower risk of overall business failure.
“Although small business activity began to stabilize in April, it still warrants attention as the expansion moves into the second quarter,” said Paul Ballew, chief data and analytics officer, D&B. “On the plus side, small business owners are showing resilience through improved payment performance, particularly in light of the winter storms that plagued the Northeast and Midwest throughout the first quarter. In addition, improvements in balance sheet and financial health of the business sector are pluses for the US economy. However, slower growth in housing coupled with headwinds from abroad may be taking some wind out of the economic sails and may be appearing in D&B’s leading indices.”