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US small-business optimism tumbles to 7-month low as COVID-19 restrictions curb activity

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A popular gauge of small-business confidence in the US sank to a seven-month low in December as stricter lockdown measures and climbing daily case counts cut into economic activity.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ index of small-business optimism fell 5.5 points last month to 95.9, according to a Tuesday release. The reading lands below the average index value since 1978 of 98 and marks the lowest level since May. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the gauge to dip slightly to 100.2.

Nine out of the optimism index’s 10 components declined, with only the NFIB’s gauge details ⇒

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