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Small firms’ business sentiment for the April-June period deteriorated more than in the previous three months, with retail businesses remaining the most sluggish, according to a national survey released July 10.

The pessimism continues into the next period — July through September — as about 30 percent of the respondents foresee poor business conditions, the National Association of Shinkin Banks said. Shinkin banks are credit associations.

The diffusion index — the figure obtained by subtracting the percentage of companies that see their business environment deteriorating from the percentage of those who see business conditions improving — for the April-June period was -21.1, down 2.1 of percentage points from the previous period. All industries except manufacturing experienced a deteriorating or unchanged business condition during the period. Retail remained the worst as clothing and food service were especially stagnant, the survey said.

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