Owners of small businesses lost confidence in July as Covid-19 infections accelerated and companies from Amazon to Wells Fargo announced they would push back the reopenings of their offices.
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index fell 2.8 points to 99.7., the National Federation of Independent Business said Tuesday. In June the index had claimed 2.9 points.
Economists had forecast another gain to 102.
“Small business owners are losing confidence in the strength of the economy and expect a slowdown in job creation,” NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg said.
Sales expectations over the next three months fell 11 points to a net negative 4 percent of owners. NFIB described this as “a stubbornly negative view bust based on their reality.”