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Report: Inflation still top concern among Mississippi small business owners

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A new report shows that inflation is still the top problem for small business owners across the U.S.

According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), while price increases have slowed in recent months, the inflation surge dating back to mid-2021 continues to impact those who run small businesses, both in Mississippi and in other states.

“Prices might not be climbing as fast as they did a few months ago, but they’re still climbing and that affects everybody,” NFIB State Director Leah Long said. “Inflation continues to drive up the cost of running a small business and reduce their customers’ purchasing power.”

The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index released this week showed the highest reading of the year with a 91.5 mark in June – one point higher than May. The last time the index was higher was in December 2023 when it reached 91.9. Even so, this marks the 30th month below the 50-year average of 98 as only 8% of small business owners expect conditions to improve by year-end.

The report added that 21 percent of owners reported inflation as their single-most important problem in operating business, one point down from May.

Other key findings, according to the NFIB, were:

  • Seasonally adjusted, a net 22% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months, up four points from May.
  • A net negative 2% (seasonally adjusted) of owners viewed current inventory stocks as “too low” in June, up six points from May’s lowest reading since October 1981.
  • A net negative 2% (seasonally adjusted) of owners plan inventory investment in the coming months, up four points from May.
  • 52% of owners reported capital outlays in the last six months, down six points from May and the lowest reading since August 2022.
  • 4% of owners reported that all their borrowing needs were not satisfied, up one point from May and the highest reading since August 2022.

The NFIB has collected trend data among Mississippi and other states since 1973 and released monthly surveys since 1986. The full report can be found here.

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