U.S. small business owners grew less confident in economic recovery in July as labor shortages remained a major concern.
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The National Federal of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index dropped by 2.8 points to 99.7 in July, almost offsetting all of June’s gains. 6 of the 10 Index elements dropped, three improved, and one remained unchanged.
There are signals the U.S. economy is cooling. Supply chain bottlenecks continue to hurt manufacturing growth, and consumer confidence has dropped recently over inflation concerns.
A net 27% of businesses are keen on creating new jobs in the next quarter, down one point from the prior month. Last week, the monthly job report revealed that 49% of small business owners had unfilled job openings in July.
In July, 57% of respondents stated that they had few or no qualified applicants for open jobs. Businesses in the survey also identified rising inflation as a major concern, with 44% planning to increase prices in the next three months.