UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Moods among small businesses in the US deteriorated in March. Less owners of companies said they expect better business conditions in the coming months, writes Bloomberg.
Business expansion plans and expectations for sales have also weakened. As a result, the index of business optimism in small business declined to 104.7 points, reaching a 5-month low, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed.
In February, the mood indicator rose to 107.6 points. This is the second highest indicator for the 45-year history of the study.
Despite the decline, the index remained near a record high level, and the report contains some positive signals for the economy.
The indicator, reflecting the dynamics of profit, was the second largest since 1987. The share of small business owners who reported an increase in average selling prices increased in March.
However, eight of the 10 components that make up the index declined last month. A certain role in this could be played by the introduction of duties on steel and aluminum, as well as exacerbation of the rhetoric of American and Chinese officials regarding the proposed trade measures.
In March, US President Donald Trump signed an order to impose duties on imports of steel and aluminum in the amount of 25% and 10% respectively. In response, Beijing imposed duties on American fruits, ginseng, nuts, wine and pork.
In addition, last week the United States announced a list of goods imported from China worth about $ 50 billion, for which it is planned to introduce duties at a rate of 25%. China has promised to introduce a return rate of 25% for 106 kinds of American goods, including soybeans, cars and chemicals, for up to $ 50 billion a year.