A Glimmer of Hope Amid Economic Devastation

by Robert Hughes
The American Institute for Economic Research

The small-business-optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business recorded another sharp drop in April, falling 5.5 points to 90.9 versus 96.4 in March (see top chart). Two consecutive sharp declines put the index at its lowest level since March 2013.

According to the report, “The business impact from COVID-19, government stay-at-home orders, and mandated nonessential business closures have had a devastating impact on the small business economy. A collapse in sales has led to lower earnings and dampened employment prospects for months to come. However, small business owners remain optimistic in the face of adversity as more expect the economy to improve over the next six months.”

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