Recession clouds appeared in the skies over Main Street, according
to the most recent National Federation of Independent Business Small
Business Economic Trends member survey. The NFIB Index of Small
Business Optimism fell 3.3 points in March to 89.6 — its lowest
reading since the monthly surveys were started in 1986, and the lowest
quarterly reading since the second quarter of 1980. The decline was
driven by a sour outlook for business conditions and real sales growth,
accounting for half the decline in the Index. Weaker plans to create
new jobs accounted for 21 percent of the decline.
“We are seeing recession readings,” said NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg.
What is worse is that the labor market is still somewhat tight and price pressures continue to push costs up.
More signs that stagflation might be on the horizon.