Optimism among America’s small business owners took a modest downturn in June, according to the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, slipping 1.7 points to 103.3.
While optimism, based on NFIB member surveys, remains at historically high levels, the June figure reverses the gain posted in May, with six components of the index falling, three improving, and one unchanged. The uncertainty component of the index rose substantially, increasing to the highest level since March 2017.
“Last month, small business owners curbed spending, sales expectations and profits both fell, and the outlook for expansion dampened. When you add difficulty finding qualified workers and harmful state level laws and regulations, you’re left with a volatile mix where uncertainty has increased to levels not seen in more than two years,” says NFIB President and CEO Juanita D. Duggan.
Both capital spending plans and reports of actual spending fell in June, but inventory strengthened in the month with owners saying existing inventory stocks were lean and planning to add to them. Sales and earnings trends softened, while expected credit conditions remained favorable. More owners also expected credit conditions to tighten rather than ease by a two-to-one margin, with most expecting no change. Read the full NFIB survey.