The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index rose 0.4 points in July to 89.9, marking the sixth consecutive month below the 48-year average of 98, the association said today. The share of small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months increased nine points from June’s record low level to a net negative 52%. Expectations for better business conditions have decreased every month this year.
NFIB also said that 37% of business owners surveyed reported inflation as their top problem—the highest amount since 1979. A net 56% of business owners raised average selling prices, representing a seven point drop from the previous month, but the association said the net percent still raising prices remained inflationary.