This commentary was issued recently by money managers, research firms, and market newsletter writers and has been edited by Barron’s.
Small Business in Distress
May 11: The US NFIB Small Business Optimism Index was unchanged in April, remaining at 93.2. Small-business owners’ sentiment has been deteriorating since mid-2021, with rising inflation being reported as the top concern. The six-month outlook fell to an all-time low.
Although the net share of businesses reporting price increases decreased slightly in April, it remains elevated, with 70% of respondents passing on higher costs to their customers. A smaller-yet-still-elevated 47% of respondents are planning to hike prices further. Finding workers continues to be a struggle for small-business owners. Among those hiring, 93%…