A hiring sign is seen in front of a Qdoba restaurant, as many restaurant businesses face staffing shortages in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., June 7, 2021. Picture taken June 7, 2021. REUTERS/Amira Karaoud

June 8 (Reuters) – U.S. small-business confidence edged lower last month, the first decline in four months, as a nationwide labor shortage and inflation worries weighed on business owners’ economic outlook, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index fell 0.2 point to a reading of 99.6 in May after three straight monthly increases. Five of the 10 index components improved, three declined and two were unchanged.

“If small business owners could hire more workers to take care of customers, sales would be higher and getting closer to pre-COVID levels,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said in a statement. “In addition, inflation on Main Street is rampant and small…

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