Slowing sales, rising inflation, and skyrocketing energy costs have small-business owners cutting back on hiring and tightening their spending as they brace for a continuing economic slowdown, USA Today reports. A National Federation of Independent Business survey puts small-business confidence last month at its lowest quarterly point since 1980.
The survey said 33% more business owners reported declines in sales growth. “We’re seeing recession readings,” said an NFIB economist. But, he added, few firms reported being affected by the credit crisis, and many are poised to spend if the economy reignites late this year. There is, he said, a “fundamental trust” in the economy.