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Small Biz: 1 in 4 Says Inflation Is Biggest Problem

Independent businesses aren’t quite as optimistic about the next six months, and many hope to maximize profits now to prepare for any possible downturn.

WASHINGTON – The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ (NFIB) Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 of a point in August to 91.3, the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.

One in four (23%) of small business owners said inflation was their most important business problem, up two points compared to July. As a result, 2% more owners raised their prices in August compared to July – 27% compared to 25% month-to-month.

“With small business owners’ views about future sales growth and business conditions discouraging, owners want to hire and make money now from strong consumer spending,” says NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “Inflation and the worker shortage continue to be the biggest obstacles for Main Street.”

Key August findings

  • Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months deteriorated seven points month-to-month to a net negative 37%
  • Year-to-year, however, the six-month view is 24 percentage points better than when it was a net negative of 61%
  • 40% of owners say job openings are hard to fill, down two points from July
  • The net percent of owners who expect real sales to be higher decreased two points from July to a net negative 14%

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