U.S. small business optimism rises despite labor shortage, inflation worries – NFIB

July 13 (Reuters) – Confidence among small businesses in the United States improved slightly in June after declining in May, despite owners worrying about a labor shortage and inflation, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index rose 2.9 points to a reading of 102.5 in June. Seven of the 10 index components improved and three declined.

“Small businesses’ optimism is rising as the economy opens up, yet a record number of employers continue to report that there are few or no qualified applicants for open positions,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement.

“Owners are also having a hard time keeping their inventory stocks up with strong sales and supply chain problems.”

A net 28% of businesses plan to create new jobs in the next three months, up one point from May and a record high.

Earlier this month, the trade group said in its monthly jobs report that 46% of…

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