- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
- CDC sees measles spike and ‘failure to vaccinate’
- Ex-Secret Service agent seeking Md. seat: Everyone’s a ‘de facto criminal’ now
- New prosthetic hand technology lets amputees feel again
- Child killed, 4 injured in Idaho elementary school bus crash
Small-business owners pessimistic about economy
Small-business owners are continuing to lose faith in the economy, fearing it is more likely to deteriorate than improve.
The Small Business Optimism Index tumbled 0.9 points to 89.9 in July, the fifth consecutive month the index has declined, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business.
“Small businesses have become considerably more pessimistic in their outlook since the beginning of the year,” said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “Small-business optimism has soured. … This report is not good since small businesses are feeling the brunt of this sluggish economic recovery.”
These companies expect lower sales and do not think they can increase prices, Mr. Christopher said, a situation that adds to worries about taxes and government regulation.
The report also finds that the “prospect for job creation is bleak.” Fewer employers plan to increase hiring, while more plan to reduce their workforce.
The small-business survey was joined by more bad labor-market news in figures released Tuesday by the Labor Department that found workers were less productive in the spring for the second straight quarter.
The productivity rate slipped 0.3 percent from April through June, after dropping 0.6 percent from January through March. It’s the first time productivity has dropped in back-to-back quarters since the height of the Great Recession.
Labor costs also rose, according to the Labor Department survey, going up 2.2 percent in the spring quarter, on top of a 4.8 percent increase at the beginning of the year.
Costlier hiring translates into a gloomier job scene for workers even as the negative news about the economy continues to mount, with stock markets losing ground across the globe, worldwide sovereign-debt problems and fears that the United States is heading into a double-dip recession.
This is a “more severe” drop in small-business owners’ confidence than in recent months, Mr. Christopher said.
July’s decline was the biggest since March and puts the index at its lowest level since September.
“This does not bode well for small businesses since, unlike their big brothers, they are not awash in cash and cannot look toward export markets to keep their heads above these troubled waters,” Mr. Christopher explained. “The next couple of months will be extremely trying for small businesses.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tim Devaney is a national reporter who covers business and international trade for The Washington Times. Previously, he worked for the Detroit News, Grand Rapids Press, Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News. Tim can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General Motors ending Chevrolet sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- 'Momentous day' for in-debt Detroit
- Cyber Monday, Gray Thursday reflect sales shift
- Bye, bye American pie? China wants in on the U.S. apple market.
- Deal with Iran can mean lower prices at gas pump
Latest Blog Entries
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Budget negotiators look to federal workers for benefit concessions
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- New battlefront emerges in war between Republicans, tea party
- EDITORIAL: Our ideological president
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Blast of winter weather heads to D.C. area
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
White House pets gone wild!