NEW YORK (AP) -- Optimism among small business owners took a dive last month as their expectations for sales and the overall business climate fell.
That's the finding of a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. The advocacy group says its index of small business optimism, compiled from a survey of 759 of its members, fell 1.3 points to 89.5 after three months of gains.
More than three-quarters of the owners expect business conditions in six month to be the same as they are now, or worse. The number of owners expecting higher sales fell.
The survey followed other reports showing slower business during March. The Institute for Supply Management said growth slowed in manufacturing and service companies. And the Labor Department said employers added only 88,000 jobs.