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Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group: Small Businesses Still See Economic Prospects As Shaky

Source: Wells Fargo Securities, LLC Economics Group

Small Businesses Remain Exceptionally Cautious

  • Small business owners continue to struggle with an unusually tough operating environment. While the net number of businesses reporting higher sales rose 2 points to the best reading in 8 months, more business owners still report declines than gains in sales, and expectations for future sales decreased.

  • Taxes, regulations and poor sales remain the top concerns for small businesses, while financing has become less of a burden.

Fewer Business Owners Plan To Hire

  • Small business owners view the economic outlook more negatively than they did during the recession. The net proportion expecting the economy to improve over the next six months was unchanged at -28 and has averaged –31.2 since October.

  • Job openings fell back to 18 in March, which is roughly in line with the average for the past year. Actual hiring remained slightly negative, while hiring plans tumbled 4 points to 0.

The NFIB Small Business Index, Small Businesses Remain Exceptionally Cautious

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