The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.6 points to 103.1, remaining within the top 15% of readings. Overall, August was a good month for small business. However, optimism slipped because fewer owners said they expect better business conditions and real sales volumes in the coming months. Job creation accelerated, positive earnings trends improved, and quarter-on-quarter sales gains remained strong. Plans to invest were the strongest in the manufacturing sector (35%), followed by agriculture (30%) and wholesale trades (30%).