The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Optimism Index in America broke a three-month streak of growing confidence in the US economy and recovery last month.

Gold is up 1.12% this week or $20.96 per ounce as investors continue to pursue the precious metal as an inflation hedge and safe haven asset.

The NFIB dropped by 0.2 points to 99.6 overall but could well be the starting point of a larger snowball effect. Chief economist Bill Dunkelberg telling reporters: “If small business owners could hire more workers to take care of customers, sales would be higher and getting closer to pre-COVID levels.

“Inflation on Main Street is rampant and small business owners are uncertain about future business conditions.”

In timely fashion, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that there were 9.28 million job vacancies in April; an increase of 1.08 million from March. One contributing factor is how many workers have been quitting jobs, of which 2.7% of all people recently leaving jobs quit – an all-time high for the survey.

Plenty of people aren't willing to risk working in unsafe environments regarding Covid if they haven't had a vaccination yet. Some have difficulties with childcare in a pandemic. Most likely, of all factors, is wages though. Many low wage employers have seen a sharp decline in job interest because inflation is kicking up, and with it the cost of living is growing. With Republican states refusing the $300 unemployment pay from the Biden administration, analysts will be watching the economic performance and recovery of red versus blue states in the coming weeks and months.