U.S. Small Businesses Maintain Optimism After Tax Bill Signed Into Law
- The National Federation of Independent Business’s Small Business Economic Trends survey fell to 104.7 in March from 107.6 in February. That reading, while softer than the previous month, remains among the highest readings in the survey’s 45-year history. For the first time since 1982, taxes received the fewest number of votes as the number one problem facing small business owners.
- U.S. import prices recorded no change in March following a 0.3-percent rise in February. Prices for U.S. exports advanced 0.3 percent in March, after rising 0.2 percent the previous month.
- According to the U.S. Labor Department, 233,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended April 7, down from 242,000 the week before. The four-week moving average of first-time claims increased, however, as did the number of individuals who continued to file for benefits. That figure rose to 1.871 million during the week that ended March 31 from 1.818 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims fell slightly. In other labor-related news: the United States had 6.1 million jobs open in the month of February.