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NJ Small Businesses Are Pessimistic

Small-business optimism remained elusive last month June, as the National Federation of Independent Business’s (NFIB) monthly economic Index dropped just under a point (0.9) and landed at 93.5. That could pretty much end any hope of a revival in confidence among job creators.

“There’s a real disconnect between the corporate sector, which seems to be doing well, and the small business sector,” says NFIB State Director Laurie Ehlbeck. 

“The difference is that small business is much more heavily dependent on household income growth and consumer confidence and those two indicators have been flat for several years.”

Six of 10 components in the Index fell, two rose and two were unchanged. While job creation plans increased slightly in June, expectations for improved business conditions remained negative. The Index is 12 points higher in June than at its lowest reading during the Great Recession but seven points below the pre-2008 average and 14 points below the peak for the expansion.

Until small businesses gain more confidence the general economy will remain sluggish according to NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.

“After two months of incremental but solid gains, the Index gave up in June. This appears par for the course, given that there is no reason for small employers to be more optimistic and lots of things to worry about,” says Dunkleberg. “Washington remains bogged down in scandals and confidence in government’s ability to deal with our fundamental problems remains low. Economic growth was revised down for the first quarter of the year and the outlook for the second quarter is not looking good.”

Today’s report is based on the responses of 662 randomly sampled small businesses in NFIB’s membership, surveyed throughout the month of June.

Download the complete study here.

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