The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) reported yesterday that its Small Business Confidence Index fell 1.8 points in January to 97.1. This is the lowest level in 11 months.
The confidence index was affected by labor shortages and the rebound in raw material prices in manufacturing, while business confidence for the next six months increased slightly.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. trade deficit increased 1.8% in December to $80.7 billion from $79.3 billion in November.
Imports rose 1.6% in December to $308.9 billion, while exports increased 1.5% to $228.1 billion.
Moreover, the U.S. trade deficit increased by 27.0% to $859.1 billion in 2021, the highest ever.