A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found that the percentage of small business owners who are optimistic about the economic and business conditions in the U.S. increased slightly in February 2019 compared to the previous month. This is the first increase in optimism in almost six months.
Despite this, small businesses reported weak profits, with 41% reporting weak sales. According to the NFIB, the weak sales may be attributed to the government shutdown which forced workers to reduce their spending. In February, only 20,000 new jobs were created. Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that February 2019 had the most job cuts in more than three years.