HUTCHINSON, Kan. — NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index decreased 0.6 of a point in August to 91.3, the 20th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.
"Our members on Main Street, inflation is their number one concern," said Dan Murray with NFIB Kansas. "We've talked a lot about filling their job requirements. Workforce continues to be an issue, but right now, inflation has kind of overtaken as their top priority and concern."
Twenty-three percent of small business owners reported that inflation was their single most important business problem, up two points from last month.
"Certainly, input costs are going up," Murray said. "We're starting to see inflationary impacts on the price of energy and fuel. Gas is ticking up. Of course, as we talked about recently, labor costs are increasing as employers are paying more to try to attract and retain qualified employees."
With the federal government coming down to the end of its fiscal year at the end of the month, Murray sees the big picture as important to keep in mind.
"The President and many federal politicians are currently in the mode of touting the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed," Murray said. "From our perspective, that act was more of a spending bill than it actually did anything to impact inflation. Government needs to rein in spending. We have a record debt, a record deficit, and it's only growing."
It appears at the moment that the government will likely have to pass a continuing resolution right before the deadline to keep from having a shutdown, rather than getting all the appropriation bills through the process of both houses on time.