Saturday, July 13, 2024

Small businesses worry about inflation, survey shows

by BIZ Magazine

(The Center Square) – Small businesses cite inflation as their number one concern, according to new survey data.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses released the survey results Tuesday, which show that 21% of small business owners cite inflation as “the single most important problem in operating their business,” more than any other issue.

“Main Street remains pessimistic about the economy for the balance of the year,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement. “Increasing compensation costs has led to higher prices all around. Meanwhile, no relief from inflation is in sight for small business owners as they prepare for the uncertain months ahead.”

The 21% figure is down one point from May, according to the report. NFIB’s small business optimism index increased last month to a rating of 91.5, although it still remains well below the 30-year average of 98.

“The net percent of owners raising average selling prices rose two points from May to a net 27% seasonally adjusted,” NFIB said. “Twenty-one percent of owners reported that inflation was their single most important problem in operating their business. Unadjusted, 12% reported lower average selling prices and 41% reported higher average prices.”

Prices have risen about 20% since President Joe Biden took office, helping push mortgage interest rates soaring. Inflation data in recent months has been mixed, though certainly much better than the breakneck pace earlier in Biden’s term.

“Price hikes were the most frequent in the construction (55% higher, 5% lower), retail (49% higher, 8% lower), wholesale (46% higher, 17% lower), finance (38% higher, 7% lower), and services (37% higher, 9% lower) sectors,” NFIB said. “Seasonally adjusted, a net 26% plan price hikes in June.”

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