US Small Business Confidence
Confidence among small business owners slipped in March after three months of improvement mirroring the decline in job creation in the group most responsible historically for new hiring and casting doubt on the strength of the economy into the second quarter.
The survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) reported that its monthly small -business optimist index dropped to 89.5 from 90.8 in February. Median expectation had been 92.3 in the Reuters survey of economists.
"Virtually no owners think the current period is a good time to expand," wrote NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg in the prepared statement accompanying the release. "Over 75 percent think that business conditions in 6 months will be no better or worse than they currently are."
Results from the poll of small business owners were generally downbeat with only two categories in the index, credit conditions and profits, rising while hiring plans, sales expectations, expansion, and job openings fell and capital spending plans and business conditions were unchanged.
"Overall, it appears that there will be little growth coming from the small business half of the economy and as the world economy slows, maybe even less from big business," Dunkelberg said.
“After another false start, small business confidence has sputtered and stalled again. For the sector that produces half the private GDP and employs half the private sector workforce -— the fact that they are not growing, not hiring, not borrowing and not expanding like they should be, is evidence enough that uncertainty is slowing the economy." said Mr. Dunkelberg
Joseph TrevisaniChief Market Strategist