U.S. small business owners continue to have a dim view about the current business landscape, according to a report released Tuesday from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index decreased half of a point to 90.8 in September, the 21st consecutive month in which the index is below the 49-year average of 98, the report said.
Twenty-three percent of business owners said inflation was their most important problem, at a time when the United States is seeing the worst inflation in decades.
“Owners remain pessimistic about business conditions, which has contributed to low optimism they have regarding the economy,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg.
Small business owners expecting better business conditions over the next six months dropped six points from August to negative 43 percent. Still, that’s 18 percentage points better than last June’s reading of negative 61 percent.
The number of business owners who reported raising selling prices jumped two points to 29 percent, which indicates a high level of inflation.