The National Federation of Independent Businesses' optimism index slid 5.5 points in December to 95.9, according to a Tuesday release. The reading is the lowest in seven months and lands well below the 100.7 estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Nine out of the optimism index's 10 components declined. Only the NFIB's measure of current inventory rose last month. Small businesses were hit by the one-two punch of President Trump's loss and the worsening state of the coronavirus pandemic, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A popular gauge of small-business confidence in the US sank to a seven-month low in December as stricter lockdown measures and climbing daily case counts cut into economic activity. The National Federation of Independent Businesses' index of small-business optimism fell 5.5 points last month to 95.9, according to a Tuesday release. The reading lands below the average index value since 1978 of 98 and marks the lowest level since May. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the gauge to dip slightly to 100.2. Nine out of the optimism index's 10 components declined, with only the NFIB's gauge of current inventory ticking higher to close out the year. The association's uncertainty index fell eight points ...read more...