How did Main Street fare in July?
Main Street remains resilient despite the increasingly long list of challenges and countercurrents it must contend with. SMB owners and employees have an increasingly long list of challenges to contend with: Consumer prices increased at the highest rate in 40 years in June. On the employment and hiring fronts, some of the largest and most prominent global companies announced layoffs, hiring freezes, or hiring slowdowns. Consumer confidence and sentiment are lower.
Experts also now estimate a higher likelihood of a recession within the next year given the impact of inflation on corporate earnings and Fed policy imperatives. Wall Street analysts continue to reduce earnings and benchmark index estimates. Bellwether companies such as Walmart have lowered their earnings estimates citing slowing consumer retail sales. Jobless claims continue to rise and are now at the highest weekly level since November 2021. Positive news includes falling commodity prices, including for