U.S. small business confidence fell in January to its lowest level in nearly two years amid worries about the near-term outlook for business conditions and sales growth, consistent with a recent slowdown in economic growth.
The National Federation of Independent Business said on Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.3 points to 93.9 last month, the weakest reading since February 2014. Still, small businesses remained fairly upbeat about the labor market.
The NFIB said there was little sign that a stock market selloff and December's interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve, the first in nearly a decade, had impacted confidence. Owners' perceptions of business conditions in six months weakened sharply as did their views of expected sales.