Small businesses are growing concerned about the fate of the U.S. economy as the nation deals with high inflation, supply-chain and labor shortages, and rising interest rates.
According to a poll conducted this month by business-coaching and peer-advisory firm Vistage Worldwide Inc., 57% of small business owners predict that the U.S. economy will only become worse in the next year, matching the April 2020 mark for lowest level of confidence. Last month, 42% of small business owners had the same grim outlook on the economy.
The poll, which The Wall Street Journal first reported, is part of a broader confidence index that, in May, revealed its largest year-over-year drop since the COVID-19 lockdown from spring 2020. While prices continue to rise, the number of small businesses that expect a revenue increase in the coming year dipped to 61%, a significant decline from the May 2020 level of 79%.
Data showing that small business owners have a pessimistic view of the economy relies on responses from a variety of sectors, including manufacturing and consumer products and services.