Small businesses pare back economic outlook

Small business optimism dropped for the fifth straight month in January, according to closely-watched survey data by the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business.

Absent economic data delayed by the shutdown, Axios reports, economists are paying closer attention to sentiment surveys which have increasingly been pointing to serious concerns about what’s ahead for the economy.

While the overall small business optimism index has dropped off since the 2016 election, it still remains within range of historic highs.

“Half of the weakness came from softer expectations for real sales growth and business conditions in the second half of the year,” the organization said in a press release.
Expectations for the economy to improve dropped by 10 points, while expectations for real sales to increase fell by 7 points and plans to increase employment declined 4 points. Read the full story.

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