Small business owners have recently expressed more uncertainty about the economy than they have in over four decades, according to a Nov. 2 report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).
The information comes from the NFIB Uncertainty Index. The index shows business owners express increasing anxiety about the future of the U.S. economy as the presidential election nears, NFIB reports.
“The inability to anticipate the direction of the economy, even in the near term, discourages small business owners from planning or committing to anything,” NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg says.
The NFIB Uncertainty Index has shown that owners are hesitant to make financial commitments for their companies. Since they aren’t sure what the economy will do, they don’t know whether it’s a good time to invest, hire new employees or expand their operations.
“Small business owners need predictability,” Dunkelberg says. “If you can’t predict your tax obligation, your labor costs, your regulator compliance costs and your health insurance costs, then you are highly unlikely to make big financial decisions one way or the other.”