NEW YORK (AP) - The economy and uncertain political climate are making small business owners less optimistic, and hesitant to expand.
The National Federation of Independent Business says its index of small business owners' sentiment fell 3 points in June to 91.4 after edging lower in May.
The index, compiled from a survey of NFIB members, shows that business owners are concerned about the economy. The number of owners expecting business conditions to improve in six months fell 8 percentage points and the number expecting their sales to rise slid 5 percentage points. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed say their biggest problem is weak sales.
Owners say they are scaling back plans to hire and to buy equipment. That's a troubling sign for the U.S. labor market, which is struggling to gain traction.