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WASHINGTON, July 8 U.S. small business sentiment
weakened in June, pulling back from a six-year high because
firms felt less confident the economy would improve in the
The National Federation of Independent Business said on
Tuesday its Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.6 points to 95
Six of the NFIB's 10 indicators decreased, with about half
of the decline in the overall index due to less confidence in
future business conditions, the report said.
U.S. economic data have given conflicting signs of health
this year, with output falling sharply across the economy in the
first quarter while hiring has looked much more robust.
The NFIB index, often seen as a leading indicator for the
economy, had risen for three straight months through May to its
highest level since September 2007.
Only two of the index's 10 components improved last month,
with gains in job creation plans and unfilled job openings. That
squares with official data that last week showed the economy
created 288,000 jobs in June, well above economists'
(Reporting by Moriah Costa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)