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Small Business Center

Small Business Confidence Drops to Record Low

July 12, 2022

Small business owners are looking at the future and it isn’t good. The National Federation for Independent Business, an advocacy group, reported today that the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped 3.6 points in June to 89.5, well below the average score of 98 set over the last 48 years. It’s the sixth month in a row for a grim outlook, each month worse than the next.

Just over a third of small business owners said inflation remained their largest problem, a peak figure not seen since May of 1980. “As inflation continues to dominate business decisions, small business owners’ expectations for better business conditions have reached a new low,” NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said. “On top of the immediate challenges facing small business owners, including inflation and worker shortages, the outlook for economic policy is not encouraging either, as policy talks have shifted to tax increases and more regulations.”

Other points include:

  • Half of small business owners have unfilled job openings.
  • There was a 13-percentage-point decline from the May survey to the June survey in the number of owners who expected real sales to rise, a sharp drop.
  • Owners who reported raising prices dropped from 72% in May to 69% in June.

For more data on capital expenditures, inventory figures, compensation and credit availability, read NFIB’s press release.

Small Business Center

ICSC champions small and emerging businesses in getting from business plan to brick-and-mortar.

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