U.S. Small Business Confidence Index Lowest in a Year, Trade Deficit Hits New High

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) announced today that its Small Business Confidence Index fell 1.4 points to 95.7 in February, its lowest level in a year from 97.1 in December.

Sentiment indices were weighed down by inflation concerns due to rising oil prices.

Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit reached a record high of $89.7 billion in January.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. trade deficit increased 9.4% in January to $89.7 billion. This was a record high compared to $82.0 billion in December.

Imports rose 1.2% in January to $314.1 billion, the highest level on record, while exports fell 1.7% to $224.4 billion.

The U.S. trade deficit previously increased 27.0% to $859.1 billion in 2021, a record high, and over $676.7 billion in 2020.

In addition, US wholesale inventories rose by 0.8% in January.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, wholesale inventories rose 0.8% in January from the previous month, following a 2.6% increase in December.

On a year-over-year basis, wholesale inventories rose 18.1% in January, while wholesale sales increased 4.0% after rising 0.8% in December.

It also takes 1.20 months to use up inventory, compared to 1.24 months in December.

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