Mixed news for US firms’ morale

Economic optimism advanced in the US this month, although a separate survey showed a decline in confidence among small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Business’s index slipped 0.7 points, despite a two point rise in the IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index. Meanwhile import cost growth slowed to 2.2 per cent in April, and wholesales rose by 2.9 per cent in March, data showed.