US NFIB Small Business Confidence At 6-Month High

Small business sentiment in the U.S. unexpectedly rose in June and at a faster than expected pace, to reach its highest level thus far this year, but inflation remained a top concern for firms, results of the monthly survey by the National Federation of Independent Business showed Tuesday.

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 91.5 from 90.5 in May. Economists had expected the reading to ease to 90.3.

The last time the index was higher was in December of 2023 when it reached 91.9, the NFIB said.

The latest reading marked the 30th month below the historical average of 98.

Inflation remained the top small business issue, with 21 percent of owners reporting it as their single most important problem in operating their business, down one point from May, the survey report said.

“Main Street remains pessimistic about the economy for the balance of the year,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said.

“Increasing compensation costs has led to higher prices all around. Meanwhile, no relief from inflation is in sight for small business owners as they prepare for the uncertain months ahead.”

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