Small firms fear US slowdown

Job creation remains weak in the US, undermining hopes that the economy is recovering strongly according to a survey published yesterday by small business organisation NFIB. Only seven per cent of small businesses think that now is a good time to expand their facilities, and increasing numbers are reducing inventory holdings rather than increasing them because of the negative outlook for sales growth. The survey’s overall small business optimism index slipped 0.1 percentage points to 94.4, with fewer firms expecting sales to outpace inflation.