WASHINGTON — As more businesses report falling sales, fewer are planning to hire over the next six months amid growing concern about sluggish economic growth and the looming "fiscal cliff."
Just 23% of companies plan to hire in the next six months, down from 39% in April, according to the National Assn. for Business Economics, a group that includes economists at companies, trade associations and academia. The quarterly survey, released Monday, polled member companies last month.
About 39% of the respondents reported rising sales, down from 60% in April. In addition, just 29% of respondents said their profit margins were rising, down from 40% in April.
Optimism is falling along with sales.
With business down, evident in Monday's government report that retail sales had dropped for the third straight month, survey respondents downgraded their economic growth forecasts.