Weaker US small business confidence bucks firming data

U.S. small business confidence declined further in February as lingering concerns about sales growth and profits hurt capital spending and hiring plans, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) said its small business optimism index dropped one point to a reading of 92.9 last month, with none of the index’s components showing an increase. The index decreased 1.3 percentage points in January.

“Spending and hiring plans weakened a bit as expectations for growth in real sales volumes fell. Earnings trends worsened a bit as owners continued to report widespread gains in worker compensation while holding the line on price increases,” the NFIB said in statement.

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