Small-business confidence dropped in August to its lowest level since early spring, as the rise in Covid-19 cases due to the highly transmittable Delta variant put a damper on expectations and turned entrepreneurs more cautious.
Also known as B.1.617.2, the variant was first identified in India in late 2020.
Vaccines from Moderna Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE—the three shots authorized in the U.S.—were primarily tested in large clinical trials for their efficacy at preventing symptomatic disease, rather than their ability to prevent infection completely. While the vaccines seem to be slightly less effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 from the Delta variant, research has shown that they remain highly effective at preventing serious illness and hospitalization.
Thirty-nine percent of small-business owners expect economic conditions in the U.S. to improve in the next 12 months, down from 50% in July and 67% in March, according to a survey of more than 560 small businesses for The Wall Street Journal by Vistage Worldwide Inc., a business coaching and peer advisory firm.
The measure is one part of a broader confidence index that also tracks metrics such as small-business owners’ outlook for their companies and their investment and hiring plans. That overall figure remains positive, but fell to its lowest level since March.
SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal