U.S. small-business confidence tumbled in November amid worries over sales growth and profits, but remained at levels consistent with an economy expanding at a moderate pace in the fourth quarter.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.3 points to 94.8 last month. It said the index, while below its 42-year average, continued to signal the economy was "plodding" along.
Six of the index's 10 components declined last month, with the share of small-business owners expecting stronger sales volumes in the next few months falling five points. Retail sales have been essentially flat since August, and some economists have blamed higher rents for squeezing household budgets.