The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Optimism Index fell to 91.4 in June, down 3 points from May, according to data released Tuesday. Economists had predicted a milder fall to 93.
A sub-index that tracks expectations about economic and business conditions over the next six months sank eight percentage points to -10%, after rising three points to -2% in May. (Overall optimism slipped in May, but only slightly.) Another sub-index that tracks plans to hire dropped three percentage points to 3% in June after rising one percentage point in May.
Small businesses said “weak sales” were their most pressing problem and that they weren’t adding a lot of jobs and not planning to in coming months. “After a somewhat promising start, owner optimism has reversed trend solidly,” the NFIB’s chief economist William Dunkelberg said. “The June results were an economic downer.”