U.S. NFIB Small Business Optimism Index falls in January to lowest since 2016

The U.S. NFIB Small Business Optimism Index dropped in January. The index fell 3.2 points to 101.2, the lowest since 2016. The monthly fall was possible because of financial market volatility and the recent partial government shutdown.

Uncertainty arising from the shutdown has evidently had an effect, as the NFIB Uncertainty Index rose 7 points to 86. The monthly fall mirrors the results of the Wells Fargo Small Business Survey, which also saw a steep fall to begin the year. Companies have become more guarded in their optimism for 2019, stated Wells Fargo in a research report.

Labor shortages continue to be a challenge, with 23 percent of companies reporting difficulty finding qualified labor as their top problem, a near record high. In spite of more companies reporting higher worker compensation, the net percent of owners raising prices fell. Expectations for future improvements in economic growth and higher sales both fell significantly in January. Plans to raise increase employment and inventories also dropped.

At 14:00 GMT the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of US Dollar was neutral at 43.1173 more details on FxWirePro's Currency Strength Index, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

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