- U.S. businesses just recorded a historic nosedive in confidence, as recorded by the NFIB’s Optimism Index.
- Businesses expect a sharp contraction in sales and marked deterioration in the U.S. economy.
- The slump in business confidence is an early forewarning of just how steep the coronavirus recession is likely to be.
The coronavirus is causing the U.S. economy to break all the wrong records. An unprecedented 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, and today the economy added another dubious achievement to the list.
Between February and March, the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index plummeted from 104.5 to 96.4.
This historic decline is a very bad omen for the nation’s economic outlook. Combined with unprecedented unemployment data, it reveals that the core U.S. economy is set to take a massive hit from the coronavirus. And it’s unlikely to recover anytime soon.
Coronavirus Infects Business Optimism
Tuesday’s reading is the largest monthly drop in optimism since NFIB began compiling the index in 1986.
And the record drop ends a 39-month run of strong small business sentiment. In other words, the coronavirus has erased the gradual improvement the U.S. economy had enjoyed over the past three years.
And make no mistake, the NFIB is blaming the coronavirus for the record plunge in business confidence.
The business impact of Covid-19 has shaken the small business sector. The economic disruptions felt on Main Street escalated over the month as an increasing number of small businesses rapidly scaled back operations or closed their doors altogether.
U.S. businesses expect even worse days ahead. The NFIB writes that they anticipate…