Most small business owners fear US economy will worsen over next year

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.
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