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Small Businesses Plagued By Weak Sales

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/15/2011

Suffering from weak sales, small business owners are pessimistic, report says.

Optimism among small business owners has fallen to its lowest level this year, according to the National Federation of Independent Business June index.

Weak Sales

Of the 733 respondents to the NFIB survey, a quarter cited weak sales as their biggest current challenge. Only 3 percent of all small business owners said they expect their sales to go up, marking a 10 point fall in this statistic since the beginning of the year.

A recent ForecastIQ analysis showed pessimism about consumer spending is most likely justified. To compensate for rising gas prices, shoppers plan to spend less money on food and clothing, this study found.

And while ForecastIQ predicted good summer retail sales despite consumer plans to curb spending, the U.S. Census Bureau has just released numbers showing retail sales declined between April and May.

Still, these reports are not exclusively full of bad news for small businesses. According to the Census Bureau, March through May retail sales were up 7.5 percent from 2010. And the NFIB index shows that despite increasing anxiety related to everything from inflation and hiring to taxes and regulation, there was a 3 percent uptick between April and May in the number of small business owners who expect the economy to improve. 

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