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Inflation forces small business to delay plans for new jobs



The optimism among small businesses in the United States has weakened, driven by mounting worries over inflation, according to the latest data.

The NFIB reported on Tuesday that its small-business optimism index dipped to 89.4 in February from 89.9 in January, contradicting expectations of a rise to 90.2 as projected in a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal.

This decline underscores a persistent trend, with the index trailing the 50-year average of 98 for over two years.

A notable factor contributing to this downturn is the rising concern over inflation, with 23% of small businesses citing it as their primary worry, surpassing the previous top concern of labor quality.

NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg highlighted that while inflation pressures have moderated since peaking in 2021, small business owners are still grappling with elevated costs stemming from higher prices and interest rates.

New jobs

Amidst these economic challenges, small business owners’ intentions to fill open positions have diminished, with only 12% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, marking the lowest level since May 2020, according to the NFIB data.

Despite these concerning indicators, there is a glimmer of optimism regarding future sales volumes, with more business owners anticipating higher real sales.

However, the overall sentiment remains negative, reflecting the prevailing economic uncertainties.

Moreover, the report revealed a decline in the number of businesses raising selling prices, hitting the lowest level since January 2021.

This trend is particularly notable in the goods sector, where prices have fallen as anticipated, but services prices are proving more resistant to decline.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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Workers rush back to their desks over job fears



Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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Why resilient economy is fuelling demand for Australian property



Despite inflationary pressures, Australian house prices have surged to a record high for the fifth month in a row, as indicated by CoreLogic data.

Australian house prices have not only weathered inflation but have also soared to unprecedented levels, marking the fifth consecutive month of record highs, according to data from CoreLogic.

This resilience reflects the enduring demand for property in the country, showcasing the sustained interest of buyers despite challenging economic conditions.

VentureCrowd’s Head of Property, David Whitting, talks how investors can access alternative ways of property investing.

Presented by VentureCrowd #funding futures #housing #economy

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Three reasons why you don’t need to panic about inflation



Inflation in the US has exceeded expectations for the third consecutive month, driven by increases in essential commodities such as oil, electricity, takeaway food, and medical costs.

  1. Despite a 3.8% year-on-year rise in CPI, it’s notable that this figure has decreased from its previous 9% high.
  2. The robust CPI and economic growth numbers suggest a positive outlook for US corporate earnings.
  3. The S&P500 has seen five 1% drops this year, all of which were met with investors buying the dip.

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